At COP27, Averda, an end-to-end waste management, treatment and recycling company in emerging markets, and US company WasteFuel, a developer of bio-refineries focused on converting Municipal Solid Waste into low-carbon fuels, announced a partnership to develop the first commercial scale municipal waste to renewable methanol plant in the Middle East.
The location for the first plant is being researched, and it is expected to be in Jebel Ali, United Arab Emirates. The plant will produce renewable methanol for shipping from unrecyclable waste currently being collected and disposed of by Averda. This renewable fuel would help shipping companies achieve up to 90% reductions in CO2 emissions and other greenhouse gases and pollutants compared to conventional fuels.
The world generates 2.01bn tons of municipal solid waste annually and global waste is expected to grow to 3.40bn tons by 2050, more than double the population growth over the same period. Turning waste into renewable fuels is considered possible.
Renewable methanol for shipping is crucial in global efforts to decarbonise. Large container ships now account for approximately 20% of all marine fuel demand and researchers warn that without greater efforts to decarbonise shipping could account for up to 10% of all global emissions by 2050.
Malek Sukkar, CEO Averda, said: “This partnership will help to address climate change by diverting waste from landfill to produce renewable fuels. Averda is proud to partner with WasteFuel, another member of SMI, to bring this innovative and sustainable solution to the region, and to continue our journey towards a world without waste.”
Trevor Neilson, Co-founder, Chairman and CEO, WasteFuel, said: “Addressing the climate emergency requires an exponential increase in renewable fuel supply. The Middle East, specifically Jebel Ali, is considered a gateway between the Western Hemisphere and the Far East. As WasteFuel works to produce green methanol to decarbonise shipping at scale, the opportunity to develop a biorefinery in partnership with Averda in the Middle East was an exciting and logical next step.”
Collaboration is critical to address the waste and climate crisis. Averda and WasteFuel partnered after meeting through the Sustainable Markets Initiative (SMI), which was established by HM King Charles III in 2020 when he was in role as HRH Prince of Wales. Averda and WasteFuel announced their partnership at the SMI event held as part of COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.