QATAR is in the process of building a first-of-its kind waste management facility that will collect refuse and process it into methane that can be used to generate electricity.
The QR7bn facility will qualify for carbon credits under the Kyoto Protocol, according to The Report: Qatar 2008, published by the Oxford Business Group.
The plant is expected to be operational in 2010, though there were reports earlier that it would go onstream by the end of next year.
Keppel Seghers, a subsidiary of Singapore’s Keppel Corp conglomerate has been contracted to build and operate the project.
According to the company, the plant when completed will have the capacity to turn waste into about 55 megawatt (MW) of electricity a year, which is more than enough to run the facility’s operations. The plant could also be connected to the national power grid to absorb excess power, but a decision on that is yet to be taken, the report said.
The plant will adhere to the European Union’s emission standards by capturing toxic fuel gases and fragments of metals before they are emitted into the atmosphere.
The facility near Mesaieed City is expected to absorb a flow of 3,000 tonnes of rubbish per day.
Local rules do not require residents to separate their waste into organic, non-organic or recyclables, so the first step will be to separate the waste, the report said.
Metal, bottles, paper and other recyclables will be salvaged and sold on secondary markets where possible, with profits going to the government.
Organic waste – food or anything biodegradable, including some types of paper, will be contained in an oxygen-free facility and kept at a temperature of about 65 degrees. This is the environment necessary to cultivate the bacteria that can draw methane gas out of the refuse. The gas will then be sent through a waste-to-energy process that will yield about 15MW of electricity.
After the gas has been extracted, the waste will be fully composted and then made into a fertiliser, which is suitable for agriculture or horticulture.
Separately, the plant will process construction waste, which is very significant due to the booming construction activities in the country.
It is expected to handle an average of 5,000 tonnes of construction waste a day. The plan is to separate wood and glass, which are recyclable and crush the rest to be used in road paving, the report said.
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