China to build world’s largest waste-to-energy power plant


To some, turning various types of waste into energy seems like a crazy futuristic concept. Yet it is a process that has been going on for several years. But nowhere in the world will this happen on such a massive scale as in China. Two Danish firms Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects and Gottlieb Paludan Architects have just won a competition for the construction of the largest waste-to-energy power station in the world. Located on the mountainous outskirts of Shenzhen, the plant will transform 5,500 tonnes of waste into energy every day. To put this figure in context, it represents about a third of the waste produced daily by the 20 million inhabitants of the city. In addition, the plant will generate additional electricity from solar panels installed on the 710,000 square foot rooftop.

The plant’s circular design, measuring nearly a mile in circumference, will allow the entire plant to be housed in one building. The facility is meant to be educational and functional, and the architects incorporated a network of elevated walkways into the space; visitors will be able to safely tour the factory and observe every part of the conversion process. The aim is to show the guests both the amount of waste produced by the city and the exciting capacity of the new technology.

Construction will begin this year and commissioning of the plant is scheduled for 2020.

The Danish firms were selected ahead of five other teams, including Arup and AECOM.


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