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Biofuels to power sustainable tourism at Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea Project

The Red Sea Project will use biofuel gensets to support storage batteries for solar plants on six locations across the destination.

[Source photo: Venkat Reddy/Fast Company Middle East]

Governments and industries across the globe have set targets for sustainable growth with varying degrees of success. Most initiatives to cut carbon emissions rely on renewables, while clean fuels such as hydrogen are also explored. Middle Eastern economies have even turned towards recycling cooking oil and agricultural waste to create biodiesel.

Now biofuels are set to boost sustainable tourism in Saudi Arabia by powering the Red Sea Project. A biodiesel variant called B100 will support 25 sets of generators supplied by German firm MAN. These gensets will produce about 112 MW of power for the facility even if solar power isn’t available.

Biofuels are created from different sources, including vegetable oils and animal fats. Expert attention is carried out to verify the sustainability of B100 biodiesel by tracking where the origin of crops it was extracted from. This resource will support storage batteries for solar plants at six locations across the Red Sea Project.

The green tourism destination will be the world’s largest destination powered by 100% clean energy throughout the year. The Red Sea Project’s sustainable push was planned based on a marine spatial simulation. Upon completion, it will track its environmental impact through a smart system.

Apart from clean energy, the project will also work on conserving coral reefs across Saudi Arabia’s coast. With 50 resorts to boost ecotourism, the Red Sea Project will contribute almost $6 billion to Saudi Arabia’s GDP by 2030.

The Middle East’s largest refinery to create biodiesel is in UAE’s Jebel-Ali, where slaughterhouse waste is also recycled. Malaysia is also eyeing the Middle East as a major market for palm oil, which can convert into biodiesel. Over a decade back, the Middle East’s first biofuel producer had started producing biodiesel from cooking oil from McDonald’s for its trucks.

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