Kingdom to produce 30,000 tons of algae

Updated 13 November 2013

Kingdom to produce 30,000 tons of algae

Saudi Arabia will be one of the few algae producing countries around the world, with production capacity expected to reach 30,000 tons by 2014, said Jaber Al-Shehri, undersecretary of research and agricultural development at the Ministry of Agriculture.
A promising project to transplant algae in Saudi Arabia aims to secure part of the local and global food requirements for future generations, said Al-Shahri this week.
Marine algae are a new source of fuel and food for mankind and animals, in addition to its contribution to the production of medicines and vaccines.
“The plan is to produce 30,000 tons of algae. The initiative already began this year and will continue until 2029,” said Al-Shahri. “The National Prawn Company started producing small quantities for experimental purposes and quality assurance.”
Ahmad Al-Ballaa, CEO of the National Prawn Company, said costs of the project might reach SR100 billion. “The costs of the research and development phase are SR25 million, and the actual production will commence by 2014,” he added.
He pointed out that the first shipment of the production is designated to German company BASF, which will be during the third quarter of the coming year.
“Several projects for aquaculture in Saudi Arabia and other regions around the world have been adopted to produce fish and sea cucumber,” said Al-Ballaa.
“After the initial stage of research and development we came up with practical and effective solutions for the cultivation of new varieties of algae, which are expected to have a role in bridging the gap in global food security.”
He said the project would be established on the Red Sea coast to the west of the Kingdom. He explained that algae are a significant component of fish and animal feed. They are also a food- supplement and constitute other forms of food for humans, in addition to their use in cosmetics.
“The project of transplanting algae is a part of a whole integrated seafood basket that the company has been working on for years now. The infrastructure of the project includes residential units, a power station and administrative buildings. The project is expected to employ more than 2,800 people, among which are 400 Saudi men and women.


TheFace: Deema Al-Jaafari, Saudi entrepreneur

Updated 24 January 2020

TheFace: Deema Al-Jaafari, Saudi entrepreneur

  • I truly believe that if you set limits to your abilities you will never be able to exceed them
  • I founded Teak Woodwork in Alkhobar which has extended its services to cities including Jeddah and Riyadh

For nine years, I was the only child in my family. My father was a very independent, strong character and I learned a lot from him.

Having started from zero, he taught me to work hard, seek perfection and always believe that anything was possible if you set your mind to it. 

My mother was very easy going and encouraging. She really believed in me and was always supportive. There was a balance at home for me with these two different characters.

Some people might think that being an only child for quite some time, I was spoiled and dependent. But that was never the case and I have an amazing relationship with my little sister Maha; she is my best friend.

My father works in pharmaceuticals and is chairman of the board of directors at Al-Dawaa Medical Services.

My mother was a schoolteacher before entering the world of business, and my sister is a chemical engineer. Though we are a very diverse family, we all have an appreciation for art which is evident in our household. My mother is an artist and art collector too.

I do not have a role model; there are many people I look up to in the business world and in my social life. 

I studied software engineering and worked in that field for almost a year, but although I learnt a lot I wanted more from my career. Software engineering made me think and solve problems in a different way and it played a major role in how I operate in the field of business.

I worked at Al-Dawaa for almost two years and found that I was more attracted to business and marketing than the technical side of things. That is when I decided to take on the family business, Waleed Al-Jaafari Establishment.

I run PIECES, a retail store I founded in Alkhobar in 2012 and later opened a branch in Riyadh in 2014. Now, we are working to make it an online business too.

I noticed that there was a demand in the Kingdom for custom-made furniture, and although some stores offered the service there was little choice. So, I decided to provide high-quality furniture made in Saudi Arabia.

In 2015 I founded Teak Woodwork in Alkhobar which has extended its services to cities including Jeddah and Riyadh. My father has other branches dealing with different fields, but I opted to run the retail store and woodwork services. 

I truly believe that if you set limits to your abilities you will never be able to exceed them. Once you realize that there are no limits, all doors will open for you.