How did the company get involved in environmental issues in Saudi Arabia?
Fadil Fuad Basyyoni Some 15 years ago there was very little awareness about environmental issues from business in the MENA region. The total picture in terms of wider environmental issues, such as air pollution, green energy, and glass recycling had a low level of awareness here. DFBG spoke with the authorities about taking aggressive action to do this, and a waste management and classification regulation was subsequently passed in Saudi Arabia. As understanding grew, more advanced recycling solutions came into play. This is the point where DFBG came in. I am proud to say we were one of the first companies to start working in this sector. We brought in solutions, created contracts, particularly with government authorities, and worked to find new solutions to environmental problems so the government knew what to do.
Mohammad Al-Elyani BeeA'h was established at the direction of the Royal Commission, the governing environmental regulator in Al Jubail Industrial City. The Royal Commission recognized that progressive industrialization would potentially create environmental issues and, along with certain leading industries, decided to involve the private sector to meet the environmental management needs of the city, which resulted in the establishment of BeeA'h. Business commenced in 1989, with a small landfill site of 75,000sqm, which then expanded a year later into the physical and chemical treatment of hazardous and industrial waste. For some time, the hazardous organic waste that was generated in the Industrial City was not managed and had to be stored until BeeA'h commissioned its hazardous waste incineration center in 1997, the first of its kind in the Gulf region and making BeeA'h the market leader with fully integrated waste management facilities.
What projects will you focus on?
FFB We are establishing a company to implement new ideas with a private not-for-profit organization in Saudi Arabia. We are doing a project together at the moment to establish recycling programs in every city. Part of the recycling scheme will be not-for-profit, and some will be to create profits for the partners. This project will focus on electronic, plastic, and cardboard recycling with a different approach. We will approach homes and owners of waste to offer them solutions, including collecting waste, and recycling. We also seek to revive our waste to energy project, because with the change in governmental approach and Vision 2030, this project will now be feasible.
How important is the waste management sector to the Saudi market?
MAE Saudi Arabia is one of the world's major oil and petrochemical producers, with Al Jubail in particular being one of the largest industrial petrochemical sites in the world. The country recognizes that industrialization brings with it the risk of environmental damage which, if not managed properly, will adversely impact and endanger the quality of life for future generations. Greater emphasis is now being focused on opportunities for recovering processed materials, recycling, and reusing the waste that has been generated and only using waste disposal as a last resort.
How has Vision 2030 created a new era for renewables and green solutions?
FFB Vision 2030 itself is a great tool; however, it does not contain much of an explanation about environmental proposals. We wanted such details to be in the vision. Now the government is adopting a new approach to push the environmental agenda more. We want to see practical projects and investment happening in real life for green energy, recycling, and revenue from waste, and not just studies being done. Waste can provide a great return as a new income source. We can either turn it into green energy or sell recycled materials to factories at a competitive price. Vision 2030 is an excellent tool; however, we need great KPIs to manage the vision and give it life in a practical sense.
MAE We are highly encouraged and motivated by Vision 2030 and are committed to doing our best to be a part of the success harvested from this vision. We are working to maximize the use and productivity of existing resources in order the meet the demands of industry for safe and compliant waste management at economic rates. BeeA'h is fully aware of industry needs and the current and new technologies that can be employed to satisfy regulatory requirements. Throughout almost 30 years of operation we have met increasingly more demanding regulatory compliance standards and modified our operations and invested in new facilities to ensure compliance. We continue to look at emerging recycling and recovery opportunities and to evaluate alternative treatment methods for specific waste streams that can offer greater economies to waste generators. There is no one solution or technique for all waste being generated.