Imdaad spearheads bio-fuel technology adoption with new plant

Imdaad’s new bio-fuel station has a capacity of pumping out 17,000 litres of fuel, which serves the purpose for its fleet of more than 250 commercial vehicles in Jebel Ali plant

Top Imdaad officials at the inauguration of the new fleet facility in Jebel Ali.
Top Imdaad officials at the inauguration of the new fleet facility in Jebel Ali.

With an aim of harnessing sustainable energy solutions to run its business, Dubai-based integrated facilities management (FM) solutions provider Imdaad launched a biofuel station at its Jebel Ali plant earlier this year.

Bio-diesel has been around for a while now. It’s a slightly cleaner and environmentally friendly method of powering commercial vehicles.

FM companies rely on logistical and transportation solutions to carry out operations. From passenger cars to vans all the up to commercial trucks, tankers and waste compactors — an FM company’s fleet varies in size and function.

Imdaad’s new station has a capacity of 17,000 litres and is used to power its large fleet of waste compactor trucks and service support vehicles with biodiesel, which is derived from food waste. Biodiesel has proven to reduce greenhouse gases, and consequently, cause lesser pollution.

Imdaad group CEO Jamal Abdulla Lootah says: “Businesses with a large fleet of vehicles understand the implication of poor fuel resource management because a minor flaw in fuel economy results in a major impact when multiplied across the fleet. The impact on the environment is even more severe as this leads to increased burning of precious fossil fuel and heightened carbon emissions from vehicles, which already constitute a significant share of environmental pollution. Successful fleet management has been gaining prominence thanks to its potential in minimising total cost of ownership of vehicles, increasing efficiency and productivity, and reducing corporate carbon footprints.”

But Lootah says the high cost of implementing biofuel technologies has hampered its widespread adoption.

He adds: “Executing sustainable practices is easier said than done especially in an already competitive market where businesses are struggling to maintain their profitability. Going beyond the buzzword demands well-thought-out strategies, investments, time, resources, and of course, patience until the efforts begin to bear fruit.

“It was not an easy task for Imdaad either, when it embraced fleet management practices across the board. But the end results were promising as the company witnessed substantial  increase in return on investment and at least 5% reduction in carbon emission from each vehicle in its fleet after introducing an automated system called ‘Sahal’ coupled with the biofuel station,” he says.

Currently, Imdaad, which is the first waste collection company to pilot the biofuel project, uses 5,000 liters of biodiesel per day across 30% of its 300-strong fleet. The firm now aims to increase it to 60% by end of the first quarter of 2018. The ultimate goal is to gradually switch the entire fleet over to the new fuel system, “as it will result in the better life of our vehicles as well”, Lootah adds.

Coupled with these efforts, Imdaad also deployed a telematics systems that helps the firm better manage its waste collection and transportation. “We made a big leap forward in sustainable development when we rolled out the new fleet and the service management programme ‘Sahal’ in our Environmental Services division,” Lootah informs.

The programme has an integrated approach to logistics planning, fleet handling and scheduling. This helps Imdaad which collects 1,000 tons of general waste per day. “Sahal enables professionals at Imdaad to track and monitor each and every bin, skip, and truck at any time in order to better manage assets and yield optimal utilisation by the efficient scheduling of resources. In addition, the ‘Sahal’ programme helps in better decision-making by providing insights on live dashboards, and it comes built-in with best practices in waste management and Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) processes,” he says.

Sahal has also enhanced the level of communication between drivers and the control room to accelerate assignments and task creation. Furthermore, the green programme, which eliminates the need for paper transactions, enables on-time billing and through increased efficiency in route planning and vehicle management. Lootah notes: “It remarkably reduces emission of fumes to contribute toward a greener future.”

Imdaad is aligning its efforts with the UAE Energy Strategy 2050, which aims to increase clean energy use from 25% to 50% and reduce carbon footprint during power generation by 70%. “Imdaad continues to innovate to offer cost-effective and environment-friendly FM solutions, while introducing greener solutions to enable optimum performance in its own operations,” Lootah concludes.

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