Lootah Bio Fuel LLC (LBF), a fully owned subsidiary of the S.S. Lootah Group, is a leading manufacturer in the waste-to-energy and alternative fuel industry in the UAE.
LBF manufactures biodiesel of which the raw material or feedstock is used cooking oil (UCO). The resultant is the cheapest diesel in the UAE and reduces carbon emissions from vehicles.
Dubai produces over thousands of tons of UCO monthly. For companies involved in the food and beverage sector the disposal of UCO is a huge problem as food companies and restaurants are prohibited from disposing it through the sewage system. The waste product is a gold mine for LBF, who handles the collection of approximately 200,000 liters of UCO through an in-house department.
“The utilization of UCO in the manufacture of biodiesel defines the very essence of sustainability. Unlike in the manufacturing processes of biodiesel from plant sources such as corn, soy, and palm which require arable land for the cultivation of these crops, UCO is a readily available feedstock that only needs collection,” commented Mr. Yousif Saeed Lootah, CEO of LBF.
The decision to use UCO in the production of biodiesel for LBF has helped in raising the company’s green profile and can also help elevate the CSR profiles of companies that contract with LBF.
However, the collection of UCO is a challenge as there are many unauthorized collectors who pay extra for UCO from various food and beverage outlets. Most of these unauthorized collectors then go on to export the UCO and in some countries it is resold as cooking oil which when consumed is a health risk. “We work closely with the Dubai Municipality and other government institutions on building a regulatory framework that prevents the unauthorized UCO collectors from operating and exporting the UCO,” commented Mr. Yousif, when asked about efforts to combat the challenges in collecting UCO.
At present, LBF has contractual agreements with many reputed hotel groups, restaurants, public kitchens, and labor camps for the collection of UCO and in some cases supply biodiesel to these companies’ fleets. Some of the notable companies that has contracted with LBF are Rotana Group, Grosvenor House, Le Meridien, Sheraton, Burj Al Arab, Jumeirah Group, Modern Bakery, Jadeed Bakery, Armed Forces Officers Club & Hotel, New York Fries, Al Naboodah Contracting, Imdaad, and Abela & Co.
Environmental sustainability and green initiatives have gotten a boost in Dubai and the UAE following government plans and policies outlined in government strategy reports such as Dubai Strategic Plan 2021, UAE National Agenda 2021, and Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030. The reports outline plans centered on protecting the environment, managing consumption of natural resources, and diversification of UAE’s energy mix. LBF is one of the leading companies pushing for the realization of this vision in Dubai and the UAE.