World’s Largest Waste-to-Energy Power Plant Planned for Shenzhen, China


Two Danish architectural firms have won a competition to design the world’s largest waste-to-energy power plant in the mountainous region outside of Shenzhen, China, according to Dezeen.

The proposed plant is expected to incinerate 5,000 tonnes of waste per day, or about a third of the waste generated each year by Shenzhen’s 20 million residents.

“The primary aim of the project is to provide a clean, simple and modern technical facility to deal with the city’s growing waste,” architect Chris Hardie, director of the Schmidt Hammer Lassen Shanghai office, told Dezeen. His company partnered on the design with Gottlieb Paludan Architects.

The facility is designed as a large circular building, with a roof covered with photovoltaic panels to generate the sustainable energy supply for the plant. The design aims to keep the facility as compact as possible by enclosing all aspects of the operation in the singular circular building, which will be surrounded by landscaped grounds. A series of visitor facilities, including a loop walkway leading to a rooftop view, will allow a behind-the-scenes perspective of the inner workings of the factory.

Shenzhen East Waste-to-Energy Plant operations are scheduled to begin by 2020.

Jen Kinney is a freelance writer and documentary photographer. Her work has also appeared in Philadelphia Magazine, High Country News Online, and Anchorage Press. She is currently a radio production student at the Salt Institute of Documentary Studies. See her work on

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