GREEN ECONOMY

UAE 2018 | SHARJAH | B2B

Green industries and renewable energies are leading the way in Sharjah and throughout the MENA region.

Khaled Al Huraimel
KHALED AL HURAIMEL
Group CEO
Bee’ah
Salam Sharif
SALAM SHARIF
Chairman Secretariat Office
Sharif Metals International

Sharjah seeks to become a waste-free city by 2020. How do you contribute to this objective?

KHALED AL HURAIMEL We believe in a circular economy, and Bee'ah in Sharjah has almost completed the move toward this specifically when we look at waste. Currently we have the highest waste diversion rate in the Middle East at 70%. We recently signed a joint venture with Masdar for the waste-to-energy project for that remaining 30%. Once we reach 100%, we will have completed the waste management loop, which is why we have to start looking into other sectors. In the end, the overall vision of Bee'ah is to improve the quality of life in Sharjah, the UAE, and the region. Taking care of waste and transforming it to energy improves the quality of life of our citizens and companies. Our new headquarters, which will be 100% powered by renewable energy, is an important reflection of our ambitions for a waste-free city and circular economy.

SALAM SHARIF Sharif Metals International, which specializes in metals recycling, runs advanced recycling facilities across the GCC/MENA, where half a million tons of ferrous and nonferrous metals are recycled and converted from "end-of-life" (post-production and post-consumption industrial, construction, and household discarded material) into "back-to-life" feed stock material to industrial production line. Our Sharjah facility receives mostly aluminum cans, aluminum window and doorframes, obsolete automotive parts, and copper and aluminum cables. Our processes ensure no metallic material goes into landfills or pollutes the soil and underground water. Knowing that recycling of aluminum reduces air and water pollution by 75% and saves energy by 95% is definitely helping achieving a waste-free city by 2020.

What are the opportunities in the Middle East in general?

KAH We started operations in Sharjah, and now we operate across the UAE. We are managing one of the largest contracts in downtown Abu Dhabi and have around 1,000 people mobilized there. It is our largest government contract outside of Sharjah. To date Bee'ah has around 7,000 employees. In Abu Dhabi, we provide waste collection services as well as street cleaning. Now we are exploring going into recovery of waste and recycling. In Dubai, we manage a lot of iconic projects like Burj Khalifa, the World Trade Center, the Internet and Media City, and many others. We are also looking to extend our services to Saudi Arabia and Oman. In Saudi Arabia, we signed an agreement with the Public Investment Fund in the form of an MoU to explore how we can work with it. We are introducing our services and already have an office there. It is a big market so we are planning an entrance strategy. We have become a leader in waste management now and want to utilize our skills in other areas across the region. Bee'ah undertakes expansion in two ways: one is geographically and the other is by expanding into new services, such as looking at technology and air and water quality.

SS The recycling field has excellent potential to grow because the Middle East is predominantly a consuming market; we do not generate many products here. A large percentage of our goods are imported from countries such as China and India that we could not compete with via local production. There are two main pillars here; the first is our abundant oil and gas resources. These local natural resources give us the comfort of being competitive in the products that we do manufacture. For example, we can produce aluminum from hydrocarbon products cheaply compared to the rest of the world because we have an inexpensive local supply of raw materials. This aluminum production brings other byproducts and downstream industrial activities into the region and these in turn create great potential for recycling. Secondly, construction is a major pillar in the region. There are growth prospects due to the vision of the UAE's leaders, and the population is growing. There will be excellent growth in the GCC in general. Moreover, the Bureau of Middle East Recycling (BMR), as the "voice of recycling in the Middle East," has put great effort into serving its 156 members and 550 associate delegates in recycling awareness and networking opportunities through its four official annual board meetings and annual conference. BMR is connected with other international recycling associations in the US, Europe, India, and China.