As part of the Academia Industry collaboration in finding solutions for environmental issues in the Sultanate, Oman Environmental Services Holding Co. SAOC “be'ah” partnered with Sohar University to conduct a research consultancy project on Industrial Waste Data Inventory. The project was awarded to Sohar University through a competitive bidding process floated by be'ah through Ejaad platform. Professor Rakesh Belwal from the Faculty of Business at Sohar University led the project from SU side and a contract in this regard was signed between Professor Barry Winn, the Vice-Chancellor of Sohar University, and Eng. Tariq Al Amri, Chief Executive Officer of be’ah on 15th June 2020.
The project aims to have a solid database of industrial waste generation in the Sultanate. In a recently held ceremony, the project team comprising students and co-investigators led by Professor Belwal was felicitated with certificates and words of appreciation by Eng. Abdul Kareem Qasim Al Balushi, Sector Head, Industrial Waste and Dr. Mohab Ali Al Hinai, Head of the Environmental Center of Excellence (ECE) at be’ah Headquarter in Muscat. Eng. Abdu lKareem appreciated the work carried out by Sohar University team and lauded the efforts of graduate students who participated in this project as Research Assistants. Besides Professor Belwal, Sohar University team comprised of Dr. Shweta Belwal, Dr. Manisha Rajhansh Sinha, Ali Al Jabri, Fatma Al Badi, and Mohammed Al Rushdi.
Commenting on the project, Amira Al-Moqrashi, Chemist at be’ah, said "We strive at be’ah to apply research-proven best practices. This project will enable us to have reliable information and database about the main sources of industrial waste, quantities and different types of the industrial waste as this information are crucial for planning of the waste collection and treatment infrastructure. Our partnership with Sohar University is a true example of how Academia and Industry can work together to find solutions for the environmental challenges facing us today”.
The concerned team at Industrial Waste Sector in be’ah in cooperation with IT Department developed electronic survey through an app to collect data and images of the industrial waste being studied as part of the project. The Industrial Waste team carried out the daily follow-up of the survey data collected through field visits and email for validation, analysis, classification and deciding on the appropriate methodology for processing of such data in order to establish a reliable database of the industrial waste generated from all industrial estates in the Sultanate.
Such data are of great importance to be’ah as they are used to determine the actual inventory and benchmarking them with old data to improve the planning and designing the capacity of industrial waste integrated treatment facility.
“We are happy to conclude this project successfully. Our team of researchers put their best of efforts to accomplish it at this difficult time; however, the support from the partnering team at be’ah was exemplary,” said Dr. Belwal, the principal investigator. “It was a good training for us and we learned many technical and management skills while communicating with the specialists from the industry and visiting them on the ground,” said Ali Al Jabri, one of the graduate engineers who worked as a research assistant in this project.
The purpose of this project was to develop a list of active industrial waste-generating industries in Oman and to acquire data on the quantity and type of industrial waste generated across Oman,” said Dr. Belwal. The project covered seven industrial estates - Rusayl, Salalah, Sohar, Sur, Nizwa, Buraimi, and Samail located in key locations in Oman; three Economic Zones - Al Mazyunah Free Zone, Knowledge Oasis Muscat, Salalah Free Zone, and two Special Economic Zones - Port of Sohar and Duqm. The research was closely facilitated and monitored by be’ah chemists, Amira Mohammed Al-Moqrashi, Mahra Ali Al-Balushi, Ahoud Rashid Al Maqbali and Tafla Saif Al Ruzaiqi. “It was very challenging to collect data during the Covid-19 time and the Sohar University team did the work fairly well. We thank the entire team for your commitment and dedication,” said Dr. Farah Al Barwani Research and Development Manager.