Saudi Arabia’s Research and Development on Algae Production Techniques in KSA project will target achieving food security, economic development and environment sustainability.

Waqar Naseem Wamiq writes for saudigazette.com that Saudi Arabian Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture, Eng. Abdul Rahaman Bin Abdel Mohsen Al Fadli, has launched the “Research and Development on Algae Production Techniques in KSA” project in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Al Fadli signed the Joint Cooperation Agreement with several governmental institutions and private sector partners to implement and support the project.

The under secretariat for Agriculture at the Ministry, Eng. Ahmed Alayadah said that the project is significant as it will use modern techniques in the production of algae — using salt water that will contribute to the Kingdom’s Strategic Objective and Saudi Vision 2030, which targets achieving food security, economic development and environment sustainability in the Kingdom.

“The project will also target promising industries connected to algae,” he said. “The new studies are directed towards feed sectors, plastic and chemical industries, environmental industries, medicines industry and others. It will continue for three years, starting from 2018.”

He pointed out it will contribute to technology transfer and localization, and will provide graduate students with a research environment for their anticipated projects.

“Algae farming in KSA is considered a base of renewable resources,” said Alayadah. “As a vital economic program, it can contribute to the achievement of sustainable feed sector industry in the Kingdom through the usage of sea water, reducing costs for cultured aquaculture feed that represents 50% of the total production costs. It also improves the quality of feed that is used in all agricultural sectors, and opens new economic outlets for the marine aquaculture sector.”

He also said that the Kingdom has comparative advantages to support the farming of algae on the commercial level. The most important advantages are the availability of multiple low-cost energy resources, the suitability of the Kingdom’s climate to sustainable algae farming on the economic level, and the availability of CO2 resources from the electricity generation stations, saline water conversion stations, refineries, cement industry and others.

Eng. Ziad Bin Mohammad Alshiha, CEO of Saudi Electricity Company, expressed the company’s pleasure to contribute in financing of research and development programs for this promising national project. He added the project will benefit the Kingdom’s economic and scientific sectors, among which the fuel and energy production industries.

The project’s foundation team consists of Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture, Aramco Company, SABIC, Saudi Electricity Company, National Industries Company, NAQUA, King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, King Abdullah University for Science and Technology, and Saudi Aquaculture Society.

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