During my participation in a petroleum seminar in Riyadh, I had the opportunity to invite with other colleagues to a dinner party at the home of a colleague who also participated in the symposium. The symposium was several months ago (just before the outbreak of “Covid-19”, when it was then possible to attend seminars and participate directly with colleagues face to face).
The dinner was attended by the eldest son of the advocate, a Saudi university graduate from American universities. I heard this young man speak energetically about an initiative by him and his friends, also graduates from American and Chinese universities, to establish a company in Saudi Arabia “Al-Estidama Industrial Company” in the field of manufacturing organic waste to produce organic fertilizers and protein feeds used in the manufacture of fish feed.
The main goal of the young company is to enhance food security in Saudi Arabia, raise the rate of recycling of natural resources, in addition to the possibility of exporting to the markets of India and China. The technologies used depend on the latest in the field of environmentally friendly proteins. The company has now reached the stage of raising the investment to launch the construction of the plant.
During the discussion of the new graduate with the rest of the oil colleagues invited to dinner, I drew my attention to the importance of the Arab youth’s tendency to establish private companies that use modern technologies to address the challenges facing the countries of the region, such as food security, and the reliance of these companies on local expertise and manpower, to prevent the accumulation of graduates in the government bureaucracy. Reducing the number of the unemployed in the labor market. It is also interested in exporting to world markets to gradually help in the future in increasing non-oil exports, especially with the possibility of expecting oil price solutions during the coming years at relatively low rates, with the development of sustainable alternative energy industries, and the increasing legislation of laws in OECD countries to reduce emissions of dioxide. Carbon to zero exhaust from cars and power plants. And that this change will definitely come. The issue is a matter of time, but in most cases, during this century. This will mean a sharp drop in demand for oil, and hence prices. These global industrial developments are imposing on our societies entry into new economies different from the economies dependent on oil rents, which have been the axis of Arab economies since the middle of the twentieth century.
The aim of the company, which was established in 2018, is to benefit from the fact that Saudi Arabia is a major producer of food waste. By producing concentrated protein powder, which is used in the manufacture of fish, poultry and shrimp feed, and replaces dried fish meal. It is also used in the production of organic fertilizer. Saudi Arabia is a major producer of food waste. The average amount of food waste that Saudi citizens waste is 250 kilograms annually compared to the global average of 115 kilograms annually. The percentage of food wasted in Saudi Arabia is about 50 percent, with a value of about 49 billion Saudi riyals. Annually 14 million tons of food are wasted. The value of transporting and burying this waste in landfills is about 360 million riyals annually.
The company also aims to establish a Saudi financing company specialized in recycling, where it will invest in private recycling companies to increase the recycling rate from 10% to 90% in the future.
By making this company, the company is achieving a sustainable friendly environment; It reduces both air, land and water pollution. The company also aims to increase the amount of fish that are farmed in Saudi Arabia from about 30 thousand tons annually to about 600 thousand tons annually.
The company also plans to enter global markets in the future, particularly India and China, where demand is very high, and is constantly increasing, with the continuous rise of the population, as well as the increase in the standard of living.
Through its activities, the company is looking to achieve several goals of the “Saudi Vision 2030”, in addition to the United Nations’ sustainable development initiative.
* An Iraqi writer specializing in energy affairs
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