The first cucumber harvested at The Sahara Forest Project Pilot

Yara, Qafco and The Sahara Forest Project set out to give inspiration to the UN climate negotiations in Doha.

Today the first cucumbers from The Sahara Forest Project Pilot Facility were served to VIP guests and workers at the pilot facility inside Measaieed Industrial City in Qatar. After a ten month intense construction period, The guests could today also enjoy the first tour of the pilot facility, developed by Yara, Qafco and The Sahara Forest Project.

“We are proud to serve our first cucumbers here today,” says Joakim Hauge, CEO of The Sahara Forest Project. 

The guest were also shown around on the 10 000 sqm facility where they learned about the unique saltwater-cooled greenhouses, Qatar’s first operational Concentrated Solar Plant, the region’s largest algae research facility as well as technologies for turning the desert green.

Only an hour drive from the pilot facility, the UN climate negotiations (COP18) take place in Doha. 

“The Sahara Forest Project sets out to inspire the delegates as a positive and innovative solution to fight climate change,” says Joakim Hauge. The Sahara Forest Project will continue to receive visitors to the pilot facility throughout the COP 18.

The Sahara Forest Project is a new environmental solution to produce food, water and energy in desert areas. “It is designed to utilize what we have enough of to produce what we need more of, using deserts, saltwater and CO2 to produce food, water and clean energy,” says Joakim Hauge.

The Sahara Forest Project combinines already existing and proven environmental technologies, including saltwater-cooled greenhouses, concentrated solar power (CSP) and technologies for desert revegetation around a saltwater infrastructure. The synergies arising from integrating the technologies improve the performance and

economics of the system compared to those of the individual components.

In 2011 The Sahara Forest Project AS entered into cooperation with Yara ASA, the world’s largest supplier of fertilizer and the Qatari company Qafco, the world’s largest single site producer of urea and ammonia. After successfully completing a comprehensive feasibility study on Qatar, the parties signed an agreement to build the

first fully operational Sahara Forest Project Pilot Plant in Qatar. The agreement was signed in February 2012 with H.E. Prime Minister of Norway Jens Stoltenberg and H.E. Prime Minister of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani presiding over the signing.

“The partnership with Yara and Qafco is very constructive and we look forward to conducting further scientific work on the pilot together,” says Joakim Hauge.