Photographer: Christinne Muschi/Bloomberg

Saudi Dairy Farm May Use Cow Dung to Meet Power Needs

A dairy farm in the home of the world’s biggest energy exporter is considering using cow dung to meet its power needs.

Saudi Arabia’s National Agriculture Development Co. is planning to develop a $200 million biomass plant fired by excrement from its bovines, according to people familiar with the matter. Nadec, as the dairy company is known, is in talks with potential developers to build the plant, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private.

Nadec has also started initial talks with a group of local banks to raise funding for the project, which will also include building a solar plant on the farm, while the winning bidder will take over existing diesel generators, the people said. The stock, 20 percent held by the Public Investment Fund, has gained 19 percent this year on the Saudi Stock Exchange. A spokesman for Nadec didn’t respond to requests to comment.

Amid a slump in the price of oil and attempts to diversify Saudi Arabia’s economy, the kingdom’s rulers are reducing energy subsidies and planning to boost renewable energy sources to save more crude for export. Saudi Arabia plans to develop 30 solar and wind projects over the next 10 years as part of a $50 billion program to boost power generation and cut its oil consumption.

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