United Arab Emirates plant to open in 2009

By Ryan C. Christiansen | August 08, 2008
Web exclusive posted Sept. 3, 2008 at 10:54 a.m. CST

Emirates Biodiesel LLC, also called EmBio, plans to open its first commercial-scale biodiesel plant in the United Arab Emirates in the first half of 2009. The 3 MMgy plant will use waste cooking oils and other inedible oils as feedstocks. The company will market its product domestically as a renewable fuel additive that can be used by companies in the region to offset carbon emissions.

EmBio was founded by United Arab Emirates-based Ecobility Energy Solutions LLC, in May to lead private-sector sustainable development and carbon footprint reduction in the United Arab Emirates.

"The need for a functional non-fossil fuel alternative has now become more evident than ever," said Karim Aly, one of Ecobility's cofounders. "Biodiesel is highly complementary to a holistic sustainable energy strategy as it concentrates on displacing liquid petroleum fuels."

"Here in the [Gulf Cooperation Council], as in the rest of the world, we are faced with surging energy demand and growing pressure on the environment," said Wadah Abusin, also an Ecobility cofounder. "It was clear that the need for sustainable development is critical to a prosperous future for the United Arab Emirates and the region. The majority of the infrastructure underlying the region's economic growth is diesel-powered. Gulf Cooperation Council states are rapidly exploring ways to make greater use of alternative energy to meet the growing domestic demand."

The Gulf Cooperation Council, which was established in 1981 to coordinate efforts, includes the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, and Kuwait.

EmBio is funded by Alf Yad Limited LLC, a Dubai-based venture capital fund, which is a joint venture between the United Arab Emirates Chapter of the Young Arab Leaders and Daman Investments PSC, a private shareholding company that was formed in 1998 by a group of United Arab Emirates investors.

"Alf Yad sees tremendous potential in the renewable energy sector," said Shehab Gargash, chief executive officer of Daman Investments.
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