Dubai Municipality, which is running out of landfill site options, has announced a plan to build a waste-to-energy (WTE) plant to deal with almost one-third of the emirate’s solid waste. The municipality is looking to build a 60MW WTE plant in Dubai’s Warsan district at a cost of Dh2bn ($545mn), for start-up by mid-2020.

On a dollars per unit of generating capacity basis the plant appears expensive, even in comparison with nuclear power. The WTE project will install electricity...