A waste-to-energy plant built by Chinook Sciences in New Jersey, the USA

British firm to build world's largest energy-from-waste facility

Nottingham-based Chinook Sciences have won a £300m contract to build the world’s largest thermal energy facility making energy from waste.

The contract with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will see the innovative plant being built in the Emirate of Sharjah, however, UK economy is expected to benefit directly as about 200 jobs will be created to support the project.

About half of the new jobs will be in the East Midlands. The deal will also benefit Chinook's supplier base of 440 companies, which provide over 92 per cent of Chinook's technology and represent every UK region.

The news was announced by UK Trade Minister Lord Livingston during his visit to Chinook Sciences facilities in Nottingham.

"Our medium-sized businesses have the potential to be economic powerhouses for the UK,” Lord Livingston said. “Their success is dependent on expanding beyond domestic markets. Chinook Sciences is a great example of a company doing just that.”

Chinook Sciences was introduced to the customer, the UAE’s waste management firm Bee’ah by the UK Trade and Investment department as part of its efforts to boost medium-sized businesses.

Chinook has designed the entire facility and is co-ordinating the manufacture, shipping, installation, construction and commissioning of the plant. The deal will lead to the expansion of Chinook’s manufacturing, research and training facilities at Nottingham Energy Park in Bulwell.

“The Sharjah Project is a major milestone for Chinook Sciences as it means we are now building the world’s largest household waste gasification plant in partnership with one of the most visionary companies in the sector,” said Rifat Chalabi, Chinook Sciences’ Group Chairman and CEO.

Chinook Sciences, formed in 1998, opened its first plant in 2000. Since then, 16 installations have been opened worldwide and the company’s technology has evolved to its current ninth design generation.

The technology enables recovery of valuable materials from the waste and generates over one megawatt of energy from a typical tonne of residual household or commercial waste.

The system is based on gasification and pyrolysis to convert organic waste content into a synthetic gas, similar to natural gas. This gas could subsequently be used to produce renewable electricity by fuelling high-performance gas engines and steam turbines.

Waste management company Bee’ah, funding the project, has committed to achieve a 100 per cent landfill diversion target for the Emirate of Sharjah by 2015. The Chinook Sciences-built plant will represent a major milestone on the way towards achieving the target. 

The first phase of the plant is expected to open by the end of 2015. When the second phase is completed, the plant will have the capacity to process 480,000 tonnes of waste per year. The Sharjah plant will process a wide range of wastes and recycling residues from which it will recover metal and generate renewable energy. When complete, the plant will be capable of generating over 80 megawatts per hour of power, enough to power over 150,000 homes.

The facility will have a negative overall carbon footprint and is set to achieve a total reduction of 400,000 tonnes of CO2 per year The plant will also produce potable water, supplying more than 15 tonnes per hour, which will be used for local landscaping and irrigation.

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