Biofuel is coming to Saudi Arabia. After much success in neighbor Egypt in low income areas, Saudi Arabia hopes that a new joint venture between Jeddah-based Middle East Environment Protection (MEEP) and the India-based Biomax Fuels will help spur the renewable energy source for the Gulf Kingdom.
The announcement last week comes on the heels of a number of ambitious solar and wind energy prospects for the country, and with global oil expected to see drops in the coming decades as resources are depleted, Saudi wants to position itself as a leader in renewable energy. With Biomax entering the market, it could do so, and quickly.
The joint project Biomax will see a $40 million plant erected, reported thehindubusinessline.com and should begin erecting the facility next year, with a completion date expected by the end of 2013. The biofuel produced will recycle cooking oil, which will make it “one of the few plants in the world to use this non-food waste feedstock.”
The Hyderabad company already has a biofuel plant in operation at Visakhapatnam that reportedly produces some 25,000 tons of bio-diesel per month, which is then exported to Europe. The hope for the company is that by entering the Saudi market, it can bring the new technology to the forefront of a region that is leading the investment in alternative energy development across the globe.
Chairman of Biomax M. Ravinder believes that the Saudi market is a gateway into the Gulf and a country rising in its belief that renewable energy can overtake oil and traditional energy sources in the coming decades.
He said that the local Jeddah-based MEEP will provide the fuel to make the biogas, while Biomax will set up and operate the new facility.
“At present, we use feedstock supplied by the Saudi Arabian firm for our Vizag unit. We took this partnership forward to form the joint venture,” he said.
Saudi Arabia has already set a number of goals for the end of 2013, including new solar power and wind energy projects that are currently in development. It could be a big year for the Saudis in the renewables sector.