ABU DHABI, UAE, February 4, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --
Project capitalizes on availability of arid land and seawater to address water-energy nexus in Abu Dhabi
CH2M HILL, a full-service consulting firm and global leader in developing innovative solutions for clients to meet water, energy, climate change, and other sustainability challenges, is providing technical support on a new research project at Masdar City-the world's first bioenergy pilot-scale facility to use seawater irrigated desert land to produce both bioenergy and food in the water.
The Integrated Seawater Energy and Agriculture System (ISEAS) involves a complete seawater agricultural system that will serve as a research and development facility for Masdar Institute (MI) of Science and Technology and the Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium (SBRC)- established to advance sustainable business practices by developing technology with the promise of producing a clean, alternative fuel supply. SBRC members include Etihad Airways, Boeing, Honeywell UOP, Safran and GE.
Dr. Alejandro Ríos, Director, Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium, said, "This project has potential for groundbreaking innovation, particularly considering the unique conditions in Abu Dhabi's environment. CH2M HILL has assembled a world-class team of engineers to tackle this very interesting challenge, and we at the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology are confident that the engineering expertise that has gone into the design of the pilot facility will enable such innovation."
CH2M HILL was commissioned last year to provide technical support and to design a sophisticated pilot-scale facility of the ISEAS on designated land in Masdar City. Throughout the design phase, CH2M HILL worked closely with MI and SBRC to refine the technical aspects of the new facility, with the intention of an innovative sustainable system that will serve as a research and development facility for MI and SBRC.
A significant aspect of the new pilot-scale facility is the use of seawater to produce water stock to grow seafood, mainly fish and shrimp, (aquaculture) for human consumption and Salicornia plants for fuel and byproduct production. The plants thrive in arid, desert conditions and do not require fresh water or arable land to grow. The effluent is diverted into cultivated mangroves that are used for water treatment and biomass production, removing nutrients and providing valuable carbon storage.
"CH2M HILL is proud of our involvement with this notable pilot research project and of our successful partnership with MI and the SBRC. The project team has not only created an innovative biofuel project to address challenges of energy and water security, but is also playing an essential role in supporting the advancement of sustainable biofuel research in the UAE," said Neil Reynolds, CH2M HILL's Regional Managing Director for Middle East, North Africa and India (MENAI).
"Our goal is always to build the most sustainable and innovative facility possible," said Imelda Mannion, Project Manager at CH2M HILL. "We have drawn on a diverse global range of project experiences to integrate the elements and address the challenges of this design."
During a recent press conference, MI and SBRC announced the contract award to construct the pilot facility. The project is expected to be operational by late summer.
For an infographic on the pilot project, go to http://www.masdar.ac.ae/index.php/?option=com_k2&view=item&layout=item&id=6447
Headquartered in the USA, CH2M HILL is a global leader in consulting, design, design-build, operations and programme management for government, civil, industrial and energy clients. The firm's work is concentrated in the areas of water, transportation, environment, nuclear, energy, facilities and urban environments, employing over 25,000 worldwide with a revenue of USD 6 billion.
Since the 1970s, CH2M HILL has operated in the Middle East and has since grown to 18 offices and over 2,400 employees. CH2M HILL is working on some of the most iconic infrastructure programs in the region including Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup™, the Abu Dhabi Strategic Tunnel Enhancement Programme (STEP), the Inner Doha Re-sewerage Integrated System (IDRIS) project and the Abu Dhabi Shah Gas Development.
Verdantix, an independent analyst firm focused on sustainable business issues, has named
CH2M HILL a U.S. leader in sustainability consulting (2013), environmental services (2012), sustainable engineering (2010), and climate change consulting (2009).
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