Thursday, December 13th, 2012
The Sahara Forest Project Pilot Facility was opened by Qatar’s Heir Apparent Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani on Tuesday December 11th. The Heir Apparent also enjoyed a tour of the pilot facility, developed by Yara, Qafco and The Sahara Forest Project.
The Sahara Forest Project Pilot Facility has been set up in a 10,000 sqm site near the Qafco 6 facility. Qafco 6 was inaugurated by HH the Heir Apparent Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani at a high-profile ceremony held at the Mesaieed Industrial City on December 11th.
The Sahara Forest Project is expected to pave way for commercialization of this green technology for large scale implementation with a vision to produce energy, food, and freshwater not only in Qatar but for tomorrow’s world population in a sustainable way”, said Khalifa Abdullah al-Sowaidi, Vice-Chairman and CEO of Qafco.
HH the Heir Apparent Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani accompanied by other dignitaries was shown around on the pilot facility where they learned about the unique saltwater-cooled greenhouses, Qatar’s first operational Concentrated Solar Plant, the region’s largest algae research facility as well as technologies for turning the desert green.
“We are very happy for the interest and visit from The Heir Apparent to The Sahara Forest Project Pilot Facility. With the newly opened facility we are now looking forward to commence operations in Qatar”, said Joakim Hauge, CEO of The Sahara Forest Project.
“Qafco and Yara are sponsoring this environmental project on a pilot scale to demonstrate the potential of the green technology in an arid region like Qatar using seawater and solar energy for future larger scale research and commercial platform in horticulture, freshwater generation, energy and algae production,” al-Sowaidi said.
“We are in this to realize a triple-bottom line: it needs to be good for the environment, good for people and have a long-term financial viability”, commented Hauge.
The Peninsula Qatar and Gulf Times referred to the pilot facility as “a key Qafco initiative at Mesaieed to combat climate change and desertification”.
During the recent UN climate negotiations in Qatar, a number of ministers, delegates and scientists visited The Sahara Forest Project Pilot Facility, which also was presented at several UN side-events.