GPA and SHL win international competition to design world’s largest waste-to-energy plant

Date: 5 February 2016

The team of Gottlieb Paludan Architects and schmidt hammer lassen architects have won the international competition to design the world’s largest waste-to-energy plant, planned for construction in Shenzhen, China.

Located on the mountainous outskirts of Shenzhen the new Shenzhen East Waste-to-Energy Plant will incinerate 5,000 tonnes of waste per day – equalling one third of the waste generated by Shenzhen’s 20 million inhabitants. The plant will utilize the most advanced technology in waste incineration and power generation and, at the same time, act as a source of education for the citizens of Shenzhen.

The winning design organizes the entire plant, including auxiliary buildings, into one circular building – breaking with the traditional rectangular layout of technical facilities. By proposing a clear circular form the footprint of the plant is minimised and the excavation work required to build on the site is equally reduced.

Visitors are invited into the plant through a landscaped park, via an entrance bridge that rises between the stacks to an entrance lobby and a visitor centre overlooking the plant machinery. An internal circular path and walkway circle the plant presenting each part of the process, before leading up to a 1.5km panoramic public walkway on the roof overlooking the surrounding landscape and the city of Shenzhen.

The 66,000m2 roof is designed to be covered by up to 44,000m2 of photovoltaic panels providing the opportunity for the plant to produce even more renewable energy for the city.

The plant is intended to showcase the Waste-to-Energy production as an important technical process that deals with the issues of growing amounts of waste, as well as the issue of finding more environmentally friendly ways of generating power. At the same time visitors become informed on the challenge of the growing amounts of waste and are also educated on how to reduce their own daily waste output.

Detailed design work is due to begin in early 2016, and the plant is scheduled to start operating in 2020.