Ali Al Dhaheri sees waste as an opportunity.
As CEO of Abu Dhabi’s waste management company, Tadweer – Al Dhaheri believes that rather than posing a problem, waste offers a transformative resource.
“We believe that waste is not just a challenge to be managed but an opportunity to create a sustainable future for generations to come,” he says.
This philosophy marks the new strategy behind Tadweer, which is part of ADQ, the Abu Dhabi-based holding company.
Announced along with a rebrand (Tadweer Group) the new strategy reflects a commitment to revolutionising waste management practices and unlocking value from discarded items.
Like solid municipal waste, a discarded resource Tadweer and various technology partners are looking to convert into Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) and other fuels.
Advanced Technologies and Partnerships Key to Success
Led by the UAE’s sustainability goals, Tadweer’s own bold target is to divert 80% of Abu Dhabi waste energy away from landfill by 2030.
With an ambitious net zero 2050 target, the Arab world’s second-largest economy aims to move from “linear economy to circularity” and has set up the UAE Circular Economy Council with the private sector to facilitate this.
Separately, Abu Dhabi has unveiled its own circular economy framework, which aims to achieve a 50% reduction in industrial process waste, at least 40,000 tonnes annually and will cover key sectors to ensure 100% compliance by 2030.
To achieve its goals, the company is committed to deploying and pioneering emerging technologies and fostering strategic partnerships.
As an integrated waste management company, Tadweer not only reduces the amount of waste disposal in landfills, but invests in advanced technologies and solutions, and recycles waste by utilising available resources.
As well as exploring opportunities with emerging technologies such as waste to SAF, Tadweer is helping to develop one of the Middle East’s largest Waste to Energy plants.
Developed in collaboration with the EWEC (Emirates Water & Electricity Co.), the Abu Dhabi-based plant will use advanced moving grate technology to convert municipal solid waste into electricity via high-efficiency stream turbine generator set.
When operational, it will have an expected processing capacity of 900,000 tonnes of waste per year, and will generate enough electricity to power up to 52,500 UAE households.
New Benchmarks in the Circular Economy Worldwide
But Tadweer’s ambitions are bigger than just the UAE, with ambitious international goals to revolutionise waste management and set new standards in the circular economy globally.
At COP28, the company partnered with the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) to launch Waste to Zero, an initiative to convene the international community to decarbonise the waste management sector.
And following the signing of agreements in 2023 with governments in Jordan, Greece, Japan and Uzbekistan, Tadweer is laying the foundation for bringing its revolutionary approach to new markets.
“Our commitment to unlocking the potential in every discarded item reflects our dedication to pioneering solutions that contribute to a circular economy,” says Al Dhaheri.
“By setting new benchmarks and embracing innovation, we aim to encourage society to change their perception of waste and embrace the change the sector is undergoing."
Exploring Transforming Solid Waste into SAF
Among Tadweer’s many partnerships, the most recent with LanzaTech Global is perhaps most exciting – as it looks to explore turning solid waste into Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF).
In rolling out a feasibility study to scale SAF production, the partners estimate that up to 350,000 metric tonnes of hard-to-recycle municipal and commercial solid waste per year can be transformed into 200,000 metric tonnes of ethanol per year – ultimately producing 120,000 metric tonnes of SAF annually.
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