Middle East’s first biogas facility now operational, says Al Rawabi

Project to help generate 1.3MW of green electricity, and reduce company’s carbon footprint
Project to help generate 1.3MW of green electricity, and reduce company’s carbon footprint

A Staff Reporter

Published: Mon 4 Oct 2021, 5:31 PM

Al Rawabi has announced that its large-scale biogas facility is now fully operational.

A first of its kind project in the Middle East, the plant will be recycling organic waste from Al Rawabi’s operations into clean energy and is expected to generate 1.3MW of green energy.

The announcement was made to coincide with Al Rawabi’s participation in the Wetex & Dubai Solar Show 2021 scheduled on October 5-7 at the Dubai Exhibition Centre in Expo 2020 Dubai.

“As responsible sustainable company, Al Rawabi now secures a valuable part of its energy consumption from renewable sources by recycling the organic waste into clean fuel. Moving to green energy puts us one step closer to a cleaner, more environmentally friendly operation. Investing in this project is not only great for the planet, but also economical and makes sense from a business perspective,” said Abdallah Sultan Al Owais, chairman of Al Rawabi.

According to Al Owais, the biogas facility was developed to fully support the UAE’s sustainability agenda. In replacing conventional and non-renewable sources of energy into cleaner and sustainable alternatives, the company also hopes to reduce its carbon footprint and achieve an 80 per cent reduction in emissions of odorous gases.

The feasibility was done in 2016 in cooperation with a prestigious university from Germany. Extended research was conducted with a UAE-based university a year after, with the biogas laboratory being established as an initial milestone for the project. Construction began in early 2020 by mele Company from Germany and was completed early this year.

The biogas facility’s sustainable operations will also yield numerous other benefits, such as the production of highly concentrated organic fertilizer of about 10 tons/day and 150 cubic metres of water per day. It will also generate 1.3MW of green heat as well as protect ground water with a 90 per cent reduction in ammonia migration.

“This is a fully sustainable operation that also brings to life the concept of circular economy, which the UAE has been aggressively pushing as part of its vision to achieve a more sustainable future,” said Al Rawabi CEO Prof. Ahmed Eltigani, who said the facility has so far generated a higher-than-normal return on investment so far, only a few months since it began its trial operations in June.

Noted for its high-quality juices and dairy products, Al Rawabi has been a strong advocate of supporting not just the UAE’s sustainable initiatives but also of public health agenda. “Our product portfolio is strongly aligned with addressing important health issues such as high incidents of NCD, obesity and diabetes among the consuming public. At Al Rawabi, we take our corporate social responsibility very seriously, and are looking to be an active leader in promoting public health and sustainability programs,” Eltigani added.

Moving forward, Al Rawabi hopes its biogas facility will enable the company to achieve a 30 per cent clean energy consumption vis-à-vis total energy used in its operations.


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