Located on the outskirts of Shenzhen – the Shenzhen East Waste-to-Energy Plant will incinerate 5,000 tonnes of waste per day, generating 550 million kWh every year. With a population of 20 million Shenzhen produces 15,000 tonnes of waste a day, a number that is increasing approximately 7% per year. To counteract this Shenzhen Energy wishes to build a new plant that not only uses the most advanced technological processes in waste incineration but also acts as a source of education for the citizens of the city.


From the outset, the goal was to design a waste-to-energy plant that is simple, clean, iconic, and a deserved indicator of the forward-thinking developments that are being made within the waste-to-energy sector in China, and how this can be portrayed not only to the surrounding residents of Shenzhen but to the world.

The entire plant, including auxiliary buildings, is organized into one circular building – breaking with the traditional rectangular layout of industrial facilities. By proposing a clean circular form, the footprint of the plant is controlled and reduces the amount of excavation required to build on the site.

Public visitors are invited into the plant through a landscaped park, via an entrance bridge that rises between the stacks to an entrance lobby and visitor centre overlooking the plant machinery.

The 66,000m2 roof is designed to be covered by up to 44,000m2 of photovoltaic panels providing the opportunity for the plant to not only provide a cleaner way to deal with the city’s waste but also contribute to the renewable energy provision for the city.

Detailed design work began in early 2016, and the plant is scheduled to go live in 2022. When complete, the Waste-to-Energy plant will be the largest of its kind in the world.

Photo:  SHL Architects

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With more than 25 years experience, schmidt hammer lassen architects is one of Scandinavia’s most recognised, award-winning architectural practice committed to innovative and sustainable design.

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