Saudi engineers discover ‘sewage treasure’ in Japan

Updated 08 November 2014

Saudi engineers discover ‘sewage treasure’ in Japan

Japanese companies are leading the way in turning sewage into sources of fuel and gas, according to several Saudi engineers who visited Japan recently.
The engineers, on a weeklong study and business tour of Japanese recycling and water companies in October, discovered that these firms consider sewage a treasure that should not be wasted.
The Japan Cooperation Center for the Middle East organized the tour. Mohammad Khojah, Taif area sector manager of the Kingdom’s National Water Company, led the delegation, according to a statement released to the media.
They visited Kobe City’s Higashi-Nada water waste treatment plant and Tobu Sludge Center in Japan and attended technical lectures at these facilities. They discovered that sewage is converted into various products including automobile fuel, methane gas for the local municipality, and phosphorus fertilizers.
They were able to see advanced technology for waste water treatment systems and effective management know-how focusing on effective use of water recycling and sludge, which could be used in Saudi Arabia.
They were able to also learn about ways to protect cities from flooding, protecting the environment, development of a low-carbon and recycle-based city, and high-pressure water absorption methods.
The mission members had meetings with Japanese companies in Osaka and Yokohama including Torishima Pump, Toyobo, Kubota, Nihon Genryo, Toray, Yokohama Water, Yokogawa Electric, Nitto Denko, Mitsubishi Rayon, Marubeni, and Japan Bank for International Cooperation.
The delegation also attended a waterworks exhibition in Nagoya, organized by the Federation of Japan Water Industries, where 102 Japanese companies and organizations displayed their products and systems.
The Saudi engineers were able to get firsthand knowledge of advanced equipment and technology related to the water industry, including water ducts and pipes, pumping equipment, purifying and sewerage treatment equipment, electrical equipment, water quality testing equipment, pipe installing machinery, chemicals and monitoring and control equipment and systems.
The engineers also visited the booths of Aichi Tokei Denki, TSS Tokyo Water, Kubota, and Fuji Tecom to meet top executives. They were impressed by the earthquake-resistant technology in Japan.
One of the highlights of the tour was a visit to the manufacturers of water meters and ceramic membranes in Nagoya.
The engineers saw the production of electromagnetic water meters by a company that has over 85 years of experience in domestic and international markets. They were also introduced to flow-sensors that would be useful in Saudi Arabia.
The members visited one of the leading manufacturers of ceramic flat-sheet membranes in Nagoya. The engineers were able to see almost completely automated production lines that reduce human error and ensure the products last for 15 years.
The Saudi delegation included members from the Ministry of Water and Electricity, National Water Company, Kindasa Water Services, King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KACARE), Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Maaden), Abdul Latif Jameel, Technology Products and Services, Saudi Tumpane, Global Solutions for Leak Free, Saudi Services for Electro Mechanical Works and Middle East Paper Company.

Saudi sources deny ‘unsubstantiated’ reports of permitting alcohol

Updated 31 min 47 sec ago

Saudi sources deny ‘unsubstantiated’ reports of permitting alcohol

  • “The leadership has made it clear from day one; it is simply not happening,”SCTH source tells Arab News
  • The SCTH is responsible for licensing and rating hotels and restaurants

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has no plans to allow the sale or public consumption of alcohol, a senior government source has told Arab News.

The official with access to relevant decision-makers categorically denied “unsubstantiated” media reports in some international and regional news outlets.

“If you read the fake news, you will notice it is all based on hearsay and tweets by accounts known to have a questionable agenda when talking about the Kingdom,” he said.

“As the country moves forward with its reform plans, we expect much speculation and attempts by critics to hold us back. And while people are allowed to speculate and criticize, their speculation should not be treated as the truth.”

A second source at the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) also denied such reports. “The leadership has made it clear from day one; it is simply not happening,” he told Arab News. “I have not heard of any plans to allow alcohol in major cities, free zones or new projects.”

The SCTH is responsible for licensing and rating hotels and restaurants. Any plans for the sale or consumption of alcohol would have to go through the commission for implementation. 

Saudi Arabia has witnessed substantial social reforms over the past three years, such as the curbing of the previously unchecked power of the religious police, reopening cinemas and allowing women to drive.

There has also been a major shift on previously prohibited public entertainment and gender mixing. International artists including Mariah Carey, Yanni, Andrea Bocelli, Enrique Iglesias and Black Eyed Peas have all performed.

Tourism projects have included pop-up versions of international restaurants such as Signor Sassi, Nusr-Et and Nobu. None has served alcohol.

“Officials have repeatedly said all changes were and will always be in line with Islamic teachings and traditions,” the senior source told Arab News.