Industry told to convert waste into energy

Updated 22 November 2012

Industry told to convert waste into energy

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.

Height of adventure: Treading the ‘Edge of the World’ near Riyadh

Updated 19 April 2018

Height of adventure: Treading the ‘Edge of the World’ near Riyadh

  • Cliffs in Tuwaiq were formed as a result of the movement of the Arabian plate toward the northeast because of the spread of the Red Sea rift
  • Several prominent Saudi tour companies offer daylong excursions to the site

Thrill seekers and fitness gurus all over the Kingdom will be pleased to know that their choices for weekend activities have increased. 

Several tour operators in Riyadh have started offering trips to the area known as the Edge of the World, making the location more accessible than ever.

With the country’s obesity rates on the rise and many citizens growing more concerned about their physical health and stress levels, people are seeking ways to maintain their fitness without having to restrict themselves to the monotony of a gym routine.

One such solution that has steadily increased in popularity over the past year is hiking, which many have embraced as being much more exciting and fulfilling than spending hours on the treadmill. And most popular of all for hiking and other fitness activities in a natural setting is the magnificent landmark of Jabal Fihrayn, more commonly known as the Edge of the World.

Described as a “window framed by rock,” the Edge of the World offers stunning views of the valley below, a lush grove of acacia trees teeming with wildlife and vegetation. The spot is well-known for being a favorite of visiting picnickers.

Hikers can choose from several trails of varying levels of difficulty, making their way to the top of the Tuwaiq escarpment to take in the magnificent views at the top of the trail, where the colossal cliff faces drop off to reveal the dizzying height from the valley below. In addition to the rich wildlife unique to the location, you can also find samples of fossilized coral and raw mineral deposits in certain areas of the valley.

The cliffs in the areas were formed as a result of the tectonic movement of the Arabian plate toward the northeast because of the spread of the Red Sea rift situated 1,000 km to the west of Tuwaiq.

Due to the increasing popularity of the site, the authorities have built a hardtop that leads to the gates of the sites and arrangements are in place to protect the area and its natural treasures. 

Several prominent Saudi tour companies offer daylong excursions to the site. The more intrepid explorer also has the option to go alone; though past visitors recommend that solo travelers take an all-terrain, 4x4 vehicle and extra precaution. Visitors can spend the day at the site and leave before 6 p.m. (when the gates are closed for the night) or stay behind for a night of camping to enjoy the sunset and the breathtaking celestial views of a star-studded night sky.

Nora Alfard, amateur hiking enthusiast and two-time visitor to the location, was quick to offer praise about her trip. 

“The trip out there was a bit tiring, but totally worth it,” she said. “The views are stunning, and the hiking itself is not that difficult. Most people should be able to make it to the top without too much trouble.” She said she was likely to go a third time, and encouraged others to do the same.

The Edge of the World is roughly 100km northwest of Riyadh, about 1.5 hours’ drive from the capital. Visitors should be prepared for at least 30 minutes of hiking, possibly more depending on your trail and your level of fitness and experience. Previous visitors recommend bringing water and snacks, and stress the importance of dressing appropriately — hiking shoes only!


What is hiking?

Hiking means a long, vigorous walk, usually on trails in the countryside. Day hikers generally carry at least food, a map or a GPS navigation device.