Saudi Arabia - Averda, the leading end-to-end waste management, treatment and recycling company in emerging markets, has teamed up with WasteFuel, a developer of bio-refineries focused on converting municipal solid waste into low-carbon fuels headquartered in Los Angeles, US, to develop the first commercial scale municipal waste to renewable methanol plant in the Middle East.

Announcing the novel project during the ongoing COP27 Climate Conference at Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt, Averda said 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 King Charles III in 2020 when he was in role as The Prince of Wales.

The duo said location for the first plant was being researched, but it was most likely to be in Jebel Ali, Dubai.

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, it stated.

The world generates 2.01 billion tonnes of municipal solid waste annually and global waste is expected to grow to 3.4 billion tonnes by 2050, more than double population growth over the same period.

Averda CEO Malek Sukkar 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," he stated.

Renewable methanol for shipping is crucial in global efforts to decarbonize.

Large container ships now account for approximately 20% of all marine fuel emand and researchers warn that without greater efforts to decarbonize shipping could account for up to 10% of all global emissions by 2050.

Trevor Neilson, the co-founder, chairman and CEO of 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 decarbonize shipping at scale, the opportunity to develop a biorefinery in partnership with Averda in the Middle East was an exciting and logical next step," he added.

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