SAN Group to invest three million Euro in a green biotechnology facility in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE
SAN Group has chosen Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ) as the platform for its green hydrogen and farming subsidiary SAN Enertech. The company is constructing an integrated sustainable hydrogen production unit, plant, and fish farm on a land plot of 8,470 m2 in RAKEZ Al Hamra Industrial Zone with an investment of AED 12 million.
SAN Group is building a fully integrated sustainable farming system on a land plot of 8,470 m2 at Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone. This biotech facility consists of a research center, laboratory, desalination plant, and a greenhouse as well as hydroponic and aquaponic indoor systems. It will generate energy through solar power systems that serve as the source of electricity for all buildings on the premises. This electricity is additionally used to produce green hydrogen. The total investment for this project is AED 12 million.
“SAN Enertech, as a commercial organization, is seeking a collaboration with local scientists to jointly expand know-how and experience in the field of self-sustained farming. We want to create “proof of concept and value,” demonstrating that with our fully integrated system, home-grown food supplies for a growing population can be achieved, even in regions that are not climatically fit for agriculture under normal conditions. In combining different disciplines of state-of-the-art technology, we will be able to prove this to ourselves, the UAE society, and the entire world,” states Erich Erber, Founder and President of SAN Group.
Ramy Jallad, Group CEO of RAKEZ, said: “We are proud to welcome SAN Group with SAN Enertech to our ecosystem, which is home to an increasing number of companies that promote sustainable industrial practices. Ras Al Khaimah strives to be at the forefront of sustainability in the region and RAKEZ contributes to this by creating a nurturing environment for players in the sustainable sector. We back them up with tailored and cost-effective solutions, so it is easier for them to materialize their projects and make an impact in today’s society and the generations to come.”
The facility of SAN Enertech will be fully operational by the end of 2022 and will create approximately 12 jobs in Ras Al Khaimah. The pilot research plant serves as a blueprint for regenerative agriculture in the MEA region.
Future self-sustained agriculture concepts
SAN Group has chosen this drought-stricken, desert-like environment to scientifically prove that self-sufficiency in agricultural products for food and feed can be achieved even in agriculturally sparse areas. The source of energy is the abundance of sun available in this region. It is converted into electric power produced by roof-mounted solar panels. The generated energy is used for the desalination of water. This water is then available in the various value streams. There will be an indoor fish farm fed by black soldier flies, which are bred on site. This proven system from the Netherlands will not only produce protein, but also have a side production of organic fertilizer.
The nutrient leftovers from the fish are used for an indoor and outdoor aquaponic system where plants can be grown using all nutrient leftovers from fish and black soldier flies. A fully equipped laboratory for water and food testing ensures the highest quality standards on the food level. The plant serves as a research farm for a fully integrated carbon neutral production of fresh fish, leafy vegetables, and strawberries in a sustainable and commercially effective manner. The data gained is used to set up large-scale production systems in the future, which are proven and cost effective in otherwise unfavorable climatic conditions.
Green hydrogen from the desert
This pilot plant also uses the solar-generated electricity to produce green hydrogen. The hydrogen is used for mobility and as electricity storage in the night hours. This plant is the second of its kind within SAN Group. One facility is currently being built at the premises of the SAN Biotech Park in Herzogenburg, Austria.