by Musherf Alamri
These Marigold flowers, in front of the Shaybah Admin Building, are only one product of the beautiful landscape supplies grown in the Shaybah Nursery. An estimated $60,000 per year will be avoided due to the nursery because many of the preexisting resources are being leveraged in operating the greenhouse, including the manpower. (Photos: Musherf S. Alamri)
Shaybah — The company’s community in Shaybah has established a solar powered greenhouse to become self-sufficient in landscape supplies, reducing costs, emissions, and enhancing supply resilience.
By becoming self-sufficient in landscape requirements, having to truck supplies from Dammam (approximately 800 kilometers away) can be avoided, thereby reducing emissions and improving traffic safety.
“We went the extra mile by using solar because we wanted to build an environmentally friendly nursery to continue to beautify the Shaybah camp,” said Abdullah Al Shemaly, acting manager of North/West Area Community Services Department. “This is in line with the company approach of using renewable, clean energy sources to apply the circular economy principles that are in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.”
Located against the majestic sand dunes is the Shaybah Nursery. With its very own solar panels (left), it enables the Shaybah community to become self-sufficient in landscape supplies, reducing costs, emissions, and enhancing supply resilience.
Solar Powered and Efficient
The 1,076-m² greenhouse commenced operations in the fourth quarter of 2019, and it has the capacity to grow 100,000 seedlings per year.
The greenhouse, called Shaybah Nursery, uses solar panels to power water pumps and smart fans. A sensor activates the fan only if the temperature goes above the optimum level. These efficiency features ensure that the solar power system is optimized while meeting all the nursery’s electricity requirements.
It is unsurprising that the Shaybah community will be avoiding an estimated $60,000 in costs per year because many of the preexisting resources are being leveraged in operating the nursery, including the manpower. Additionally, the difficult logistics of delivering plants and other landscape materials is eliminated.
“This initiative shows that the company will go out of its way to come up with creative solutions to reduce its environmental impact, including emissions. Meanwhile, we will continue to provide a vibrant, green community to our residents to retain employees and enable them to excel,” said Saeed M. Al Ghamdi, superintendent of the North Area Remote Camps Services Division.
Gardener Mohammed A. Al Halou moves a water irrigating hose at the Shaybah Nursery. Drip irrigation is used to maximize the nourishment of each water drop.
Khalil A. Mohammed, senior gardener, sets seedlings at the 1,076-m² greenhouse. The facility has the capacity to grow 100,000 seedlings per year.
Treated Wastewater and Drip Irrigation
Shaybah gardeners use treated wastewater to nurture plants, shrubs, and flowers — applying the concept of reuse in the circular economy.
The Shaybah Nursery is near the wastewater treatment plant, which utilizes membrane bioreactor technology to reduce the pumping requirements. Drip irrigation is used to maximize the nourishment of each water drop.
The solar powered greenhouse and associated equipment were procured from a Riyadh-based vendor, ensuring that spare parts and maintenance is more readily available, thereby aligning with the In-Kingdom Total Value Add (iktva) initiative.
Additionally, benefits include enhancing the quality of flowers and increased agility in meeting demands. During the lengthy trucking process, a certain percentage of the shipment is usually damaged. With the plants now grown on the site, this challenge is resolved, and flowers are more likely to thrive because gardeners have more flexibility over the exact timing of planting. More importantly, the gardeners can respond more swiftly to green landscape requirements in preparation for visits and events.
— The Arabian Sun: June 24, 2020 | Vol. LXXV, No. 25