Acwa Power, a leading Saudi developer of power and desalination projects, has signed an agreement with King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology for the establishment of a new clean energy and water desalination technologies development centre within the KACST campus.

The new ‘Clean Energy and Water Desalination Technologies Development Center’ aims to conduct studies and scientific research in vital areas linked to the clean energy and water sector, said a statement from KACST.

The key topics of focus include development of solar energy technologies, devices for photovoltaic power plants for extreme climatic conditions as well as energy storage technologies to support future energy networks and innovative technologies and materials for desalination membranes.

These are mainly aimed at cutting costs and emissions of desalination processes, as the center will employ artificial intelligence and advanced digital technologies to enable research and achieve goals, it stated.

The new facility aims to boost the presence of Acwa Power within the complex of national laboratories and innovation oases to contribute to spreading the culture of co-operation and innovation between the academic community and the business sector, and to transfer innovative water desalination technology to various areas of the industrial sector, it added.

The joint centre in partnership with Acwa Power comes as part of KACST’s efforts to link technical products to the needs of public and private sectors entities, said Dr Saeed Al-Shehri, the Vice President for the Energy and Industry Sector of KACST, after signing the deal with Thomas Altmann, the Executive Vice President of Innovation and New Technology Sector at Acwa Power.

It will help achieve national aspirations for research, development and innovation by utilizing KACST’s laboratories, scientists, incubator programmes and technology accelerators to develop environmentally friendly and sustainable technologies in the fields of water desalination and clean energy to reach the optimal energy mix that the kingdom seeks, stated Dr Al Shehri at the signing ceremony held in the presence of senior officials including Dr Munir bin Mahmoud Al Desouki, President of KACST, and Mohammad Abunayyan, the founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Acwa Power, as well as Dr Talal Al Sudairi, the Senior Vice President for Research and Development Sector of KACST.

On the collaboration, Altmann said: “We are thrilled to embark on an exciting journey with an esteemed organisation such as KACST, as collaboration is key to our approach to research and development. The partnership aims to develop practical, market-ready solutions to address commercial needs with agility and innovation.”

“It also seeks to contribute to the local research and innovation ecosystem, in line with the objectives of Vision 2030. Utilizing the collective expertise and resources of both organizations, the collaboration will focus on optimizing joint programs through the development of services, pilot plants, laboratories, and cutting-edge simulation and monitoring tools,” he added.

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Source: TradeArabia

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture has unveiled a plan to recycle up to 95 percent of the country’s waste, a move it claims which contribute SR120 billion ($31.99 billion) to the gross domestic product, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The initiative will help create over 100,000 jobs in the sector for Saudi nationals and seeks to recycle up to 100 million tons of waste annually in a push toward its sustainability efforts.

This was revealed in the ministry’s year-end report detailing its past performance and plans for 2024. The scheme aligns with the Kingdom’s endeavors to achieve sustainable development goals through well-designed plans and processes in all its sectors, including the National Environment Strategy.

The plan includes a clear institutional framework that contains more than 65 initiatives entailing an investment exceeding SR55 billion.

The report highlighted that the ministry was able to preserve more than 90,000 hectares and plant more than 50 million trees across the Kingdom.

This was accompanied by an increase in the level of community awareness while monitoring efforts in environmental commitment contributed to raising the quality of life.

Earlier in January, King Abdullah Financial District Development and Management Co. signed a memorandum of understanding with Saudi Investment Recycling ‎Co.‎ to promote waste management solutions.

The agreement was signed at an event titled “Meeting National Targets for Waste Management and Recycling,” held in Riyadh.

The MoU was endorsed by Ziyad Al-Shiha, CEO of SIRC, and Gautam Sashittal, CEO of KAFD DMC.

Speaking to Arab News on the sidelines of the event, Al-Shiha said: “SIRC has developed a robust recycling infrastructure that includes collection centers and material recovery facilities. These facilities are equipped with advanced technologies to sort, process, and recycle different types of waste materials.”

He added that his company believed in waste sorting and segregation at the source.

“We encourage individuals, businesses, and communities to separate recyclable materials from general waste to maximize recycling rates and minimize landfill disposal,” he said.

Source: Arab News

In a significant move towards environmental sustainability, NTSC and NAQEL EXPRESS have joined forces to lead a comprehensive decarbonization initiative of NAQEL EXPRESS’s commercial fleet. This strategic partnership aligns with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 and highlights both companies’ commitment to innovative and sustainable logistics solutions.

The partnership will leverage NTSC’s expertise in sustainable transportation to develop the Fleet Decarbonization Roadmap for NAQEL EXPRESS. A key aspect of this initiative is the introduction of NTSC’s advanced Q-Light QARGO4EV electric trucks, which are set to revolutionize NAQEL EXPRESS’s operations, significantly reducing their carbon footprint and paving the way for a fully sustainable fleet by 2030.

Gary Flom, CEO of NTSC, reflected on the new partnership saying: “In NAQEL EXPRESS, we’ve found a partner who shares our vision for a sustainable future. This collaboration is a testament to our shared commitment to the environment and a crucial step towards realizing the Kingdom’s goals for reduction of the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions as stated in the Vision 2030.”

Dr. Fadi Al Buhairan, Acting CEO of NAQEL and deputy CEO of SPL, also remarked: “This partnership is not just a strategic collaboration; it’s a reflection of our commitment to our community and our planet. We’re embarking on a transformative journey beyond mere business objectives.”

This groundbreaking collaboration between NTSC and NAQEL EXPRESS is a proactive response to the global need for sustainable transportation solutions in the logistics industry. It sets a new benchmark for environmental stewardship within the sector. It’s a bold statement in an industry vital to the global economy yet faces increasing demands for greener operations.

Source: Saudi Gazette

State offtaker Saudi Power Procurement Company (SPPC) has received bids for the contracts to develop Saudi Arabia’s next wind independent power producer (IPP) projects.

According to industry sources, the following developer teams have submitted proposals for the contracts to develop the three wind IPP schemes:

The projects, procured under the fourth round of the kingdom’s National Renewable Energy Programme (NREP), have a total combined capacity of 1,800MW.

These include:  

SPPC qualified 18 companies to bid for the contracts, as MEED reported in December 2022. The last day for bid submissions is 30 October.

The financial advisory division of Tokyo-based Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation is advising SPPC on procuring the three wind IPPs.

Saudi Arabia has procured only one wind IPP under the NREP so far.

Tendered under round two, the 400MW Dumat al-Jandal wind IPP was connected to the Saudi electricity grid last year.

A team of EDF Renewables and UAE-based Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar), which won the $500m contract in 2019, is developing and operating the scheme. 

Saudi Arabia aims to install 58,700MW of renewable energy capacity by 2030 through the NREP.

The energy ministry, through SPPC, is tasked with procuring 30 per cent of this capacity through public tendering, while the Saudi sovereign wealth vehicle, the Public Investment Fund, will procure the rest under the kingdom’s Price Discovery Scheme.

Both initiatives aim to drive renewable sources to account for 50 per cent of electricity production in Saudi Arabia by 2030, displacing liquid fuels, with natural gas accounting for the remaining 50 per cent.

Arla Foods, recognized as one of Denmark’s largest food producers and a global leader in the industry, aims to bring its transformative initiatives to the forefront of the international stage at COP28 in Dubai.

Emphasizing their main highlights on the COP28, Mr. Kim Villadsen, Senior Vice President and Head of MENA, said, “At Arla, we continuously try to accelerate our sustainability actions and engagements, and for that, we were present at COP27 blue zone and will also be present in COP28 blue zone within the Danish Pavilion. Our main focus areas at COP 28 will revolve around scope three emission reductions in collaboration with key customers, methane emissions, and how the industry is coming together on this, and finally, regenerative farming practices.”

Also, he shed light on Arla’s commendable sustainability initiatives and its commitment to reducing its carbon footprint. 

“We are working across our entire operation to reduce our carbon footprint, and we have ambitious targets in place that are approved by The Science Based Targets Initiative and in line with the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. In our scope 1 and 2, we plan to reduce emissions by 63 % by 2030 (compared to the 2015 baseline). For example, by using renewable energy at sites and offices and switching to fossil-free alternatives in our logistics. In scope 3, which includes on-farm emissions, the target is a 30 % reduction in emissions per kilo of milk by 2030 (also compared to the 2015 baseline). Most recently, we have implemented a point-based model by rewarding farmers who engage the most in sustainable actions on farms and motivating them not just to continue but to accelerate their efforts in creating a better future for the dairy industry.  Arla Foods aims to be carbon net zero by 2050.” Mr. Villadsen stated.

In the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, Arla Foods manufactures 70% of its products within GCC markets, reflecting a strong commitment to localized production. Mr. Villadsen explained, “With the presence of our two Dairy manufacturing sites in Bahrain and Saudi, we are proud to have 70 % of the products we sell in MENA being produced within the GCC markets. MENA as a region stands for approximately 7 % of total Arla group revenue in 2022.”

He added, “In 2022, Arla’s total group revenue was 13.8 billion euros. The Danish market accounted for approximately 8.8 % of that.” As a global leader, Arla Foods is not only contributing to Denmark’s economy but also spearheading sustainability efforts that resonate on a global scale.

As for future expansion, Mr. Kim Villadsen said, “We are continuously monitoring the possibilities and have big growth ambitions for the MENA region. It started with the establishment of our two dairy sites in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, where we are always looking into production line expansion, followed by our recent acquisition of the Kraft cheese portfolio in MENA, which is another good example.”

Arla Foods’ relentless efforts towards sustainability are driven by a dedication to creating a better future for all. The company’s goal to be carbon net zero by 2050 resonates with its commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainability on a global scale.

The fourth edition of the Saudi Maritime Congress saw the signing of two memoranda of understanding (MoUs) in the shipping and logistics sectors.

The two-day event, being held at Dhahran Expo, concluded on Thursday.

The first MoU was signed between the Saudi-listed National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (Bahri) and SAIL, a Saudi Investment Recycling Company (SIRC) subsidiary. 

The MoU aims to drive collaboration in sustainable shipping, promote circular economy principles and advance sustainable practices within the maritime industry.

The second MoU was signed between the Saudi Ports Authority (MAWANI) and SIRC to advance maritime sustainability in the Kingdom.

Source: Zawya

One company’s trash can be another one’s treasure. That’s the premise behind industrial symbiosis, a kind of industrial collaboration that promises environmental, economic, and societal benefits for countries in the Middle East region and beyond.
An industrial model for the circular economy, industrial symbiosis involves exchanging various types of resources between companies located near each other or operating in allied sectors. These resources include energy and water resources as well as industrial by-products, waste and raw material that might normally be imported.
“This kind of exchange makes it financially convenient for the sourcing company and saves the selling company waste management costs,” said Rana Hajirasouli, founder of The Surpluss, an online business-to-business platform that aims to enable such synergies for companies in the UAE. “Sustainability adoption remains critically low regionally and globally. The best way to get it off the ground is to incentivise companies, to enable them to realise a profit as soon as they start collaborating with other industries.”
“The Surpluss helps negate and demystify circular economy adoption gaps and gives companies a payoff for sharing resources,” she added.
The start-up offers a platform where companies can advertise or look for available industrial materials. Members see different kinds of materials on a map, including industrial by-products, waste, surplus resources, and knowledge (such as technical expertise)  and can immediately contact each other.
The company launched in 2021, and the platform went live last October.
In the nine-odd months since, it has diverted one million kilos of all kinds of waste from the landfill, Hajirasouli said.
Its launch follows efforts by the UAE and Saudi Arabia to strengthen non-oil sectors such as manufacturing in attempts to diversify their economies.
Through The Surpluss, UAE manufacturer Al Rawabi offloaded excess stock to companies in the food service industry, reducing dairy waste, and making a profit from savings in waste management costs. Similarly, the retailer Pakistan Supermarket provided surplus fruit and vegetables to a social enterprise serving affordable meals to blue-collar workers.
Hajirasouli believes industrial symbiosis could contribute to the GCC nations’ various targets to achieve net-zero carbon emissions between 2050 and 2070. Noting that the UAE is one of the world’s top 10 aluminium producers, she said.
“Recycling aluminium chips into high-density raw materials known as briquettes can drive gains of up to $33 million per year and reduce thousands of metric tonnes a year in waste.”
Integrating multiple circular business models across several verticals offers a $4.5-trillion dollar opportunity globally, according to Accenture.
According to the Ellen Macarthur Foundation and Swedish sustainability firm Material Economics, transitioning to renewable energy can address 55% of global GHG emissions. Circular economy applications, including industrial symbiosis, in just five industries—cement, aluminium, steel, plastics and food—can eliminate half of the remainder. That’s about 9.3 billion tonnes of CO2 by 2050, the equivalent of cutting current emissions from all transport to zero.
In June, The Surpluss brought together global sustainability leaders at the UAE’s first Industrial Symbiosis Symposium for a discussion of how industrial collaboration and technology can support the circular economy and tackle climate change in the region.

Source: Keith J. Fernandez, Zawya

AI-driven global cleantech company Sparklo has announced installing 1,000 reverse vending machines (RVMs) – known as Sparklomats – in popular public areas throughout the MENA, leading a sustainability wave in the region.

The company said its innovative solutions have inspired users to place 1 bottle every 3 seconds and 30,000 plastic bottles and aluminum cans daily in MENA.

The company said Sparklomats have already been installed in parts of Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the UAE as well as Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and thousands of such machines will be installed in more cities and countries in the next few years.

Sparklo’s reward app incentivises recycling

In the UAE, Sparklo said its reward app already hit the 6thspot on the top 10 most popular lifestyle apps.

The company’s RVMs allow people to easily recycle plastic bottles and aluminum cans. Users also receive rewards in the mobile app whenever they place an empty bottle or a can, which can be exchanged for discount vouchers for food, delivery services and other special offers.

“Our goal is to collect all the plastic bottles and recyclables in the MENA region,” said Maxim Kaplevich, owner and CEO of Sparklo.

Kaplevich said the company aims to revolutionise recycling and integrate it into the fabric of society’s lifestyle by incorporating elements of education and entertainment.

Sustainability wave in the MENA

The company said its commitment to sustainability and innovation has already garnered support from key industry leaders in the MENA region, enabling it to install its RVMs at retail chains, shopping centers, gas stations, and hotels.

The company began operating in the MENA region in the UAE’s ‘Year of Sustainability’ with its game-changing software and hardware solutions for waste management on a worldwide scale. With plans to tackle the ever-pressing challenges of plastic and aluminum waste head-on, the company is creating groundbreaking global infrastructure and paving the way for a sustainable and eco-friendly future in the Middle East.

The company has also developed an AI-powered software system for the Sparklomats which utilises machine learning algorithms to optimise the recycling process.

By leveraging artificial intelligence, the reverse vending machine can accurately identify and sort recyclables, improving efficiency and reducing contamination. This technology enables the maximisation of the recycling potential of each item.

Globally, with the help of the machine, the company has collected 35 million recyclables, 26 million plastic bottles and 8.6 million aluminum cans, making a significant positive impact on the environment.

According to recent data, 4 billion plastic bottles are consumed annually in the UAE and about 40 percent of all plastic in the country is single-use.

Source: Arabian Business

The National Center for Environmental Compliance (NCEC) has announced the trial launch of a new platform obliging establishments to submit environmental reports.

The new platform aims to facilitate the process of submitting environmental reports by establishments that have an environmental impact. The platform comes as part of the NCEC’s efforts to strengthen compliance with environmental regulations and enhance transparency in the sector.

The platform allows establishments to submit monthly, quarterly and semi-annual environmental reports, according to the classification of each establishment, in addition to requiring the establishments to provide detailed information on activities and processes that affect the environment, including the utilization of natural resources, waste management and gas emissions.

The Acting Executive Director of Licensing and Compliance Operations, Ahmed Hab Al-Rih, said the new platform was designed to allow establishments to submit accurate and comprehensive reports on a regular basis.

Through the platform, establishments with an environmental impact will be able to provide detailed information about their activities and operations that affect the environment, Hab Al-Rih noted, while confirming that regular submission of environmental reports by facilities is crucial to improving the quality of the environmental performance of each facility.

The platform aims to improve the quality of submitted environmental reports and provide accurate and comprehensive data, as it helps in evaluating the impact of environmental facilities, identify areas that can be improved, and adopt best environmental practices.

The launch of the platform enhances the communication between the NCEC and the establishments, as it will provide a central platform for collecting data and analysing them effectively, so that the relevant authorities will be able to follow up and evaluate the establishments’ performance based on the submitted reports.

This is considered as an important step in enhancing environmental monitoring and access to environmental sustainability in Saudi Arabia.

Source: Zawya

Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: flynas, the national carrier and the leading low-cost airline in the world and the Middle East, and the Saudi Investment Recycling Company (SIRC), owned by the Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund, announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to explore partnership opportunities in sustainability to enhance efforts to create an advanced circular economy, in line with Saudi Vision 2030.

Bander Almohanna, CEO and Managing Director of flynas, and Eng Ziad Al-Shiha, CEO of the Saudi Investment Recycling Company, signed the MoU in the presence of senior officials from both companies.

According to the memorandum of understanding, the two parties seek to explore partnership opportunities and best options for adopting technology and ideal recycling solutions to treat flynas waste, such as oils, plastics, batteries, etc., in order to achieve best practices in recycling, in line with the Saudi Green Initiative seeking to achieve carbon zero neutrality and to enhance sustainability and preserve the environment.

Bander Almohanna, CEO and Managing Director of flynas, said: “We are pleased to enter into this promising partnership with the Saudi Investment Recycling Company as a pioneering company in this field, in line with flynas’ strategy to adopt initiatives with sustainable impact on environment, society, and economy. We trust its ability to transform waste into opportunities, and we are confident that this step will enhance flynas’ efforts to build a sustainable growth model that combines profitable economic returns and low impacts on the environment, in line with the national goals to neutralize greenhouse gas emissions by 2060”.

Engineer Ziyad Al-Shiha, CEO of the Saudi Investment Recycling Company, said: We are pleased to partner with flynas, one of the fastest growing airlines. This collaboration represents a significant step forward as we establish a robust partnership with the shared objective of advancing the recycling industry and advocating for the principles of the circular economy. This partnership aligns with the directives of Saudi Vision 2030 and the pivotal aims of the Saudi Green initiative in reducing harmful emissions.

He emphasized that SIRC is working to lead the circular economy in the kingdom by activating local and global partnerships and investments, promoting local content, and using best practices in recycling and waste management.

flynas is also working to enhance sustainability by launching initiatives with sustainable impact on environment, society, and the economy, in partnership with institutions in the field of recycling, in addition to promoting reliance on more environmentally friendly consumer products, improving space and waste management within the passenger cabin, and increasing crew efficiency.

flynas was named the 4th best low-cost airline in the world and the best LCC in the Middle East for the 6th time in a row. The leading LCC connects more than 70 domestic and international destinations through its fleet of 51 aircraft with more than 1,500 weekly flights and has flown more than 60 million passengers since its launch in 2007.

SIRC was founded in 2017 to achieve the environmental and sustainability goals of Vision 2030 by contributing to the development of waste management, promoting recycling, preserving natural resources, and supporting the transition to a circular economy.

Source: Zawya