Dubai Waste Management Company (DWMC) has secured project finance amounting to US$927 million from several financial institutions, including US$452 million from Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), for a waste-to-energy project in Dubai. Others participating in the co-financing are Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Mizuho Bank, Societe Generale, KfW IPEX Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, and Siemens Bank.
Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI) will provide insurance on the loan provided by the private financial institutions.
The shareholders of DWMC are Itochu Corporation, Hitachi Zosen Corporation, Dubai Holding Commercial Operations Group, Dubal Holding, Belgium-based BESIX, and Tech Group Dubai.
The project is the first waste-to-energy complex in Dubai. DWMC will build, own, and operate the plant in the Warsan district, under a concession agreement between DWMC and the Dubai municipality. The complex will have waste treatment capacity of 1.9 million tonnes a year and power output of 194MW.
The plant will be able to process up to 45% of Dubai's current municipal waste generation. DWMC will treat the waste and sell the electricity produced by the plant for a period of 35 years following the completion of construction. For JBIC, this is the first project financing for a waste-to-energy project.
At present, most of Dubai’s waste is buried in landfills, and the plots for landfills are becoming scarce. The government of Dubai aims to reduce the amount of waste being sent to landfills to zero by 2032, and is promoting an increase in clean energy, including waste-to-energy.
According to its Infrastructure System Overseas Promotion Strategy 2025 issued in December 2020, the Japanese government seeks to promote orders for high-quality environmental infrastructure systems by Japanese companies, including waste treatment and recycling, as part of efforts to build a decarbonized society.
The government will help the Japanese industry maintain and enhance its international competitiveness by financially supporting Japanese companies that invest in overseas infrastructure projects as well as operate and manage these facilities on a long-term basis.
Environmental and renewable energy-related businesses are key segments for Itochu. The company has been focusing on waste management from an early stage, a contribution to sustainable development. According to NEXI, Itochu will take a leading role in the project.
The project is part of the “Partnership for Quality Infrastructure” promoted by the Japanese government. It will contribute to sustainable and ecologically friendly waste management in the emirate, and help achieve the targets outlined in the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050.
NEXI says its financial assistance for the project is expected to contribute to Japanese companies’ further business expansion in the Middle East.