Sharjah’s Beeah bullish about growth as it presses ahead with regional expansion

The company registered double-digit growth in the past five years and plans to expand its operations in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, its chief executive says

Design of Beeah's new office building in Sharjah. Beeah
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Sharjah-based environmental management company Beeah is bullish about growth as it continues to expand across the region with new projects.

The company, which is owned equally by the government of Sharjah and by private investors, has registered strong growth in its business over the past five years, group chief executive Khaled Al Huraimel told The National in an interview in Abu Dhabi.

“Our growth in the last five years has been double-digit growth every year and we are still growing [at that rate],” Mr Al Huraimel said.

Companies such as Beeah are expected to benefit from the UAE's strategy to treat waste sustainably.

The Gulf country aims to treat 75 per cent of solid municipal waste by 2025 and 85 per cent by 2035, as well as reduce solid municipal waste generation to 1.4 kilograms per person a day by 2025, according to figures provided by the organisers of the Ecowaste forum at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.

Beeah, which is active in the waste management, energy, healthcare and technology sectors in the UAE, is also charting an expansion in Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

“In Saudi, we entered Madinah and in Egypt, we have won a 15-year contract for the new administrative capital in waste management,” he said.

“We will continue growing in these two countries but we [are] also exploring geographic expansion elsewhere. But the focus in the short term will be these two countries because they are the biggest two markets in our region and we already have a presence.”

Earlier this month, Beeah unified its operations across the region to become an international holding group with various business verticals and a new brand identity.

Beeah Group is now the parent company to several key businesses, including waste collection and city cleaning services unit Bee’ah Tandeef, waste processing and materials recovery subsidiary Beeah Recycling and clean and renewable power division Beeah Energy.

It also owns consulting, research and innovation business Beeah Environment Services, future technology and digital ventures unit Beeah Digital and Beeah Transport, which is into green mobility and self-driving transport.

In the UAE, the company will commission its waste-to-energy plant in the coming months. The plant will process 300,000 tonnes of waste every year to produce 30 megawatts of power, Mr Al Huraimal said.

The project, which is being developed in partnership with Abu Dhabi’s Masdar, will “help us reach zero waste in the emirate. We also have [a] waste-to-hydrogen plant, which is [at] the development stage and construction will start next year”, he said.

Sharjah, United Arab Emirates: Khaled Al Huraimel, Group Chief Executive officer giving the tour of the facilities at Bee'ah Waste Management.  Ruel Pableo for The National for Anna Zacharias story

The waste-to-hydrogen plant is being built in partnership with UK-based Chinook Sciences and is expected to cater to the green version of the alternative fuel in the region.

The development of the green hydrogen plant comes at a time when the UAE is planning to capture a quarter of the global hydrogen market. Hydrogen is touted for its importance to the energy transition campaign.

“We are now exploring waste to energy projects across the region. There are a lot of opportunities and we are competing for new projects,” Mr Al Huraimel said.

The strategy of the company “fits in” with the UAE's goal to become carbon neutral by 2050 by developing more renewable energy projects, he said.

The UAE plans to invest $160 billion over the next three decades to hasten the development of its renewable energy sector and reduce emissions.

The company is also building a hospital in Sharjah in partnership with a Boston-based consortium as it continues to diversify its business.

“We will have a much stronger presence regionally in all our verticals. Only in 10 years, we were able to grow to become leaders in waste management and we see that growth continuing.”

Updated: January 20, 2022, 10:38 AM
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