Plans to build a waste-to-energy facility have been put on ice while government examines funding options

Plans to build a giant waste-to-energy incinerator in Dubai could be delayed for at least two years because of the financial crisis.

Hassan Mohammed Makki, who heads the city’s waste management department, said the economic conditions had led Dubai Municipality to reconsider how it would finance the project.

The incinerator was due to open by 2012, but Mr Makki said yesterday that this may not happen for another “four to five years”.

The city is looking at different options to pay for the facility, including the “build, operate, own, transfer” (BOOT) model involving a public-private partnership, whereby a private company builds and operates a project, but eventually transferred ownership to the government.

Thirteen companies are pre-qualified to win the constrct, but the department is examining the procurement options before beginning a final selection round.

Dubai Municipality announced its plan to convert waste into energy two years ago when it said it would develop the region’s first large-scale incinerator by 2012. The emirate produces as much as 10,000 tonnes of general waste a day. This has risen rapidly with the growth of the city’s population and large-scale construction projects.