The first international environment conference in Yanbu, which concluded here yesterday, urged industries to apply the best available waste management and recycling systems as part of efforts to protect environment.
Experts who spoke at the conference also emphasized the need for converting industrial waste into energy, saying it could help save SR 40 billion a year.
The experts said there are more than 600 plants in 35 countries which convert waste into energy. Burning solid waste into ash for energy recovery is the most common technology used in the world to convert waste into energy.
Detailing the ways in which waste is converted into energy, the experts said one is based on the steam system that uses waste incinerators which could generate between 450 and 550 KW/H of electricity per ton of solid waste.
Pyrolysis is another technology where high temperatures in the absence of oxygen is used to dismantle the carbon-rich organic material and produce three types of energy sources: solid coal (35 percent), bio gas (40 percent) and synthetic gas which is the mixture of carbon monoxide, hydrogen and carbon dioxide (10 percent), the experts said.
They referred to some Saudi studies on environmental protection. They also touched on a Saudi project, the first of its kind in the Middle East, to convert waste into energy using plasma technology as is the case in Malaysia, Japan, the United States, France and Germany. The Saudi project will cost SR 1.8 billion to convert 3,000 tons of waste into 120 MW of electric power per day, they told the conference.
Addressing the conference, Khaled Al-Sulaiman, vice president of King Abdullah City for Nuclear and Renewable Energy, said the Kingdom would have its first nuclear plant for producing electricity by 2020.
“Nuclear energy projects will be implemented after endorsing the Kingdom’s national plan in the beginning of 2013,” he said. He disclosed plans to establish a number of solar energy plants, adding that the first such plant would be ready in 24 months.
“Solar energy will supply 20 percent of the Kingdom’s electricity requirements,” Al-Sulaiman said.
Reading out the recommendations, Ala bin Abdullah Naseef, CEO of the Royal Commission for Yanbu, said: “All firms should take steps to manage their waste in a professional and hygienic manner following international standards.”
The conference proposed to conduct intensive training courses for government and private workers dealing with industrial waste and other dangerous material on how to do their work properly without causing harm to themselves, others and the environment.