Dubai Municipality has extended the deadline for proposals to build a waste-to-energy plant in the emirate.

The 14 prequalified companies originally had four months to respond to the a formal request for proposals (RFP), which was released on 31 May. Dubai Municipality has said that it will extend the deadline but is yet to set a new date after receiving a series of requests from contractors for more time to prepare bids.

More than 500 companies requested the qualification documents, according to Rashed Karkain, head of the technical support & studies section of Dubai Municipality’s Waste Management Department.

Of these firms 28 submitted applications, half of which were prequalified by the Municipality.

The bids will be assessed against a matrix that allows for submissions that include only the waste incineration aspect of the project as well as bids that outline proposals for the collection and incineration of the waste.

Contractors will be able to submit proposals to build the project on a build-own-transfer or turnkey basis. French consultant Cabinet Merlin is advising Dubai Municipality on the tender.

The project is to be built at a site in Al-Warsan and will be able to process about 6,500 tonnes a day of waste.

Domestic waste will be sourced from across the emirate for use at the plant. The UAE has one of the highest waste generation rates in the world, averaging two kilogrammes per capita a day.

The emirate of Dubai produces 11,000 tonnes of domestic waste each day, the majority of which is currently dumped in landfill. In 2003 it produced just 4,000 tonnes a day.

Start-up of the project is planned for 2012, but this date may change depending on the chosen technology and contract type.