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  • Emirates National Oil Co.

Dubai Municipality signs MOU with global companies to produce sustainable aviation fuel

Photo: ENOC

Dubai Municipality has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with N.V. Besix S.A., Marubeni Middle East and Africa Power Ltd., and Emirates National Oil Co. Marketing at the World Governments Summit 2024 taking place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates Feb. 12-14.


The MOU aims to transform waste-management practices in Dubai through an innovative project that utilizes cutting-edge technologies to treat mixed solid municipal waste, organic waste and green hydrogen produced from sewage-treatment processes to produce sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).


The MOU aligns with the UAE’s sustainability policy and approach, emphasizing the country’s dedication to environmental protection, resource conservation and tackling climate change through innovative initiatives and strategies that help achieve national environmental goals.


This includes carbon removal from the waste sector (zero waste) and cutting emissions associated with waste-management operations.


Emphasizing the significance of this groundbreaking collaboration with these companies, Dawoud Al Hajri, director general of Dubai Municipality, asserted that it will play a significant role in advancing UAE’s national objectives by expediting carbon removal from the aviation sector and enhancing the country’s stature as a regional hub for low-carbon aviation fuel.


“It will also assist in the waste management operations in Dubai, aligning with the strategic targets of the UAE Net Zero by 2050 strategic initiative, the UAE Circular Economy Policy 2021-2031, and the 2031 National Hydrogen Policy,” he said.


Al Hajri further highlighted that the new project and partnership reflects the municipality’s commitment to developing comprehensive and sustainable waste-management solutions, along with enhancing recycling and processing rates.


He added that this will position Dubai as a more sustainable city and strengthen its global leadership in embracing sustainable practices for the betterment of future generations.


“The success of the project under study, set for implementation in July 2025, hinges on having the necessary technology and essential materials within Dubai Municipality to produce SAF,” Al Hajri said. “These materials include waste and … sewage water. The project will also involve several investors and other supportive and strategic partners.”


For his part, Saif Al Falasi, Group CEO at ENOC, said, “As the UAE aims to supply 1 percent of fuel to national airlines at UAE airports using locally produced SAF by 2031, this milestone agreement with Dubai Municipality, Marubeni and Besix brings us one step closer to producing SAF through innovative processes and the use of green energy. Through this partnership, we will work closely with Dubai Municipality to transform sustainable feedstocks such as municipal solid waste to produce SAF at scale. In addition to reducing the aviation industry’s carbon footprint, this collaboration will also help to promote a circular economy that focuses on recycling. At ENOC, we recognize the critical role that SAF plays in reducing carbon emissions drastically and will continue to advance the UAE’s Net Zero by 2050 strategic initiative to realize a more sustainable future for all.”


Pierre Lembrechts, general manager at Besix Middle East, said, “Besix remains steadfast in its commitment to spearhead sustainable solutions aimed at curbing greenhouse-gas emissions. Renewing our trusted partnership with Dubai Municipality, alongside esteemed developers ENOC and Marubeni, we are proud to drive forward towards a greener future. SAF plays a pivotal role in shaping the energy landscape of tomorrow, and it comes as no surprise that Dubai and the UAE stand at the forefront of this transformative endeavor.”


Furthermore, Wataru Ikushima, the general manager of the new-energy business-development department at Marubeni Middle East and Africa Power Ltd., said, “In alignment with our green strategy set forth in 2022, Marubeni aspires to be a forerunner in green business by addressing environmental issues in all sectors and implementing sustainability initiatives—including the production of SAF. By promoting the conversion of waste into SAF, we believe we can contribute to both the decarbonization of the aviation industry and Dubai’s sustainable development, and we are proud to be an integral part of this pioneering initiative.”


Under the MOU, Dubai Municipality is required to supply a specific amount of municipal solid waste per day, which may include a combination of organic waste and green hydrogen produced from sewage treatment.


More than 4,000 participants from the public and private sectors are participating in 110 interactive sessions at WGS24, including 200 speakers from 85 international, regional and intergovernmental organizations including the United Nations, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the World Health Organization, the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Arab League.


It is also welcoming eight Nobel prize winners and provides a platform for 23 ministerial meetings in the presence of more than 300 ministers.


In partnership with a select group of knowledge partners, the summit is launching more than 25 strategic reports focusing on the most important practices and trends in vital sectors.


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