New Omani dairy farm to convert cow dung into biogas

The Dh995m Mazoon Dairy facility will begin milk production this month

Staff from the new Mazoon Dairy in Oman in front of a new flaring tower for the facility's biogas plant. The plant will start production by the end of the month and aims to produce more than 200 million litres of dairy products by 2026. Courtesy Mazoon Dairy Company
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A major new dairy farm being built in Oman is adding on a biogas plant to convert some of the waste that will be generated by its 12,000 cows into biogas.

Mazoon Dairy, a 100 million Omani rial (Dh955m) farm and factory in Al Sunayna in the Al Buraimi governate, says the plant will use treated waste from cows to generate gas as an alternative energy source.

“Mazoon Dairy is committed to adopting environmentally friendly solutions through waste management, and we are so proud to inaugurate the first biogas plant in the region using cow waste. The biogas plant will be used to produce methane gas that will be used to operate equipment at the plant, with plans to power even more of the plant with an increased herd in the future," said the dairy's corporate affairs manager, Yousuf bin Khamis Al-Fazari.

Mazoon Dairy Company was set up in 2015 as a venture between the Oman Foods Investment Company and a series of other government investment and pension funds with a view to driving self-sufficiency in food production in the Sultanate. It will begin production by the end of the month, and by 2026 it aims to produce more than 200 million litres of dairy products, including fresh milk, cream, laban, yogurts, cheeses and desserts.

The facility has 16 barns equipped with a special pond to collect cow dung, which is then transported in containers to the biogas plant every day. The 12,000 cows used in the first phase "are expected to produce about 225 tonnes of fertiliser every day", Mr Al Fazari said.

“As the number of cows at the farm increases, the plant will reduce its reliance on fossil fuel needed to operate some facilities. This will vastly contribute to managing waste produced by daily operations and drive up operational efficiency," said Hazza bin Abdullah Al Yahya, a member of the dairy's projects and maintenance team.

"Mazoon Dairy is also committed to managing other waste produced at the site, such as plastic in the factory, and plans to recycle treated water from the sewage plant for irrigation in the facilities," he added.

Farmed livestock are responsible for 14.5 per cent of all emissions related to human activity, with methane production from cows the chief culprit, according to a World Economic Forum note published in July. It said that studies have suggested inoculating cows with targeted probiotics could cut the amount of methane produced by cows, as could mixing seaweed into cattle feed.