Gulf region a land of promise for recycling and green energy

With several recycling demonstration projects under way in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the outlook for business development in the region is promising, according to Green Business Norway (GBN).

GBN’s Business Intelligence Program in the Gulf Region – UAE, set up in late 2014, is moving ahead with positioning and developing business prospects. The current focus is on opportunities to utilize waste as a resource, including municipal solid waste (MSW), organic waste sludge and oil waste.

Demonstrating and boosting the model

The initial phase of the business intelligence program, which was co-financed by Nordic Innovation, was completed earlier this year. An oil waste recycling demonstration project, now under way, looks especially promising in terms of market potential for Nordic cleantech solutions.

GBN and the Masdar Institute have worked together to assemble a consortium of Nordic and international companies and universities, including Ennox Oil Solutions, a Norwegian cleantech company, and Harvard University. It is hoped that Abu Dhabi oil company ZADCO and the Abu Dhabi government will also come on board. The consortium is proposing a novel process to treat drilling waste in an environmentally friendly, financially viable way that can benefit the local oil industry. The consortium combines high-end professional expertise with the best engineering practice from the North Sea.

The result is a process that consumes less energy and less water, and saves the cost of the surfactants, while extracting useful hydrocarbons from a material otherwise classified as waste. The Oil Sub-Commitee will decide after the summer whether to finance and move forward with the project.

“We have introduced a very promising technology for the oil industry in the Gulf region. In cooperation with our partners, we will be able to demonstrate its performance in the field,” said Thor Sverre Minnesjord, CEO of Green Business Norway, who believes the project will boost parallel initiatives as part of GBN’s ongoing business intelligence program in the UAE.

BI program outlook in the Gulf region

Buoyed by the current market outlook in the Gulf region, GBN has set a target of having five proof-of-concept projects demonstrating Nordic best-practice solutions up and running by 2018.

Rune G. Nilssen, CEO of Ennox Oil Solutions, which is involved in the oil waste recycling demonstration project, is already convinced that GBN’s approach is the right one.

“The business intelligence program run by GBN gives us access to know-how and market opportunities that would normally take several years to build up. We have great faith that this type of cooperation with GBN will accelerate and secure our business activities in the region,” he said.

For more information about Green Business Norways activities in the Gulf region, please contact Thor Sverre Minnesjord, CEO of GBN:


Dr. Matteo Chiesa, professor at the Masdar Institute