KEZAD Group Signs Lease Agreement with Astha Biotech for AED 44m Microalgae Plant in Abu Dhabi

KEZAD Group Signs Lease Agreement with Astha Biotech

38,000 sqm facility in Al Ain will capture up to 1,000 metric tonnes of CO2 annually, using carbon from local industries to grow microalgae 

Abu Dhabi, UAE – 20 June 2024: Khalifa Economic Zones Abu Dhabi – KEZAD Group, the largest operator of integrated and purpose-built economic zones, and Astha Biotech, a UAE-based investment and development company, today signed a lease agreement for a new facility in KEZAD Al Ain.

The agreement, signed at the Make It In The Emirates Forum 2024, will witness the launch of the first UAE company focused on the production of microalgae with high-value applications across the health, cosmetics, food, and aquaculture industries with an initial investment from Astha Biotech of AED 44 million ($12 million).

The Astha Biotech facility, which will spread over 38,000 sqm, will capture up to 1,000 metric tonnes of CO2 annually, using carbon from local industries to grow microalgae. It will hire and train a team of 30 highly skilled personnel for the microalgae production unit and the laboratory.

Mohamed Al Khadar Al Ahmed, CEO Khalifa Economic Zones Abu Dhabi – KEZAD Group said: “We are more than happy to welcome Astha Biotech, an infrastructure company with a focus on the green economy. At KEZAD Group, we are developing new enabling infrastructure for companies to further improve their sustainable practices, including transitioning to a greener economy.

“Our efforts at KEZAD are aligned with the direction from Abu Dhabi’s leadership on sustainable development, and our focus remains steadfast on creating a better world for our future generations.”

Zouheir Bensaid, CEO of Astha Biotech Group said: “We are so proud to be part of Abu Dhabi’s ambitious programme geared towards sustainable development. Our project is in-line with our values where we aim at translating our will to seek out new solutions to deal with the challenges of organic dietary nutriments and the contribution to the environment decarbonisation.”

With an initial focus on the dietary supplements market, Astha Biotech’s production of microalgae strains Spirulina, Haematococcus pluvialis, and Chlorella will be carried out in a sustainable manner using closed culture processes and photobioreactors.

Astha Biotech will use CO2 emissions accumulated from local industries in its cultivation facilities as a carbon source for the growth of the microalgae. The new entity aims to capture up to 1,000 metric tonnes of COannually, surpassing the carbon sequestration capacity of forests or corn fields.

Make It In The Emirates Forum, organised by the UAE Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT) offers a valuable networking and knowledge exchange platform for the industrial community, both locally and internationally. The event brings together decision-makers, government and private sector officials, experts, entrepreneurs, financing entities, investors, startups, and SMEs – with the primary goal of showcasing investment opportunities within the local industrial sector.

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Neel Achary is the editor of Business News This Week. He has been covering all the business stories, economy, and corporate stories.