IGS partners with ReFarm on GigaFarm in Dubai

December 6, 2023

Food Tech Valley has signed an agreement at COP28 with ReFarm to start construction on a 900,000 sq. ft. “GigaFarm”.

The innovative waste-to-value farm will be capable of recycling more than 50,000 tonnes of food waste and growing two billion plants each year.

ReFarm was established in the UAE by SSK Enterprise and Christof Global Impact (CGI) as a group of companies with a focus on projects with circularity and clean technologies. The brand chose vertical farming technology developed by infrastructure supplier Intelligent Growth Solutions (IGS) and is set to start construction in mid-2024 at Dubai’s Food Tech Valley, a master development launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and being led by major Dubai property developer, Wasl. ReFarm has engaged its lead bank to arrange support from UK Export Finance within the UK Government’s Department for Business & Trade.

In a global first, six complementary technologies will be co-located on the Dubai Food Tech Valley site as part of a closed-loop circular waste-to-value system, establishing a self-contained ecosystem designed to maximize resource efficiency and prevent any waste going to landfill.

Capable of growing more than three million kilos of produce annually, the site will support the UAE’s move towards decarbonising food production, replacing one percent of the country’s fresh produce imports. Construction is due to begin in mid-2024, with the site expected to be fully operational by 2026.

Food waste will be recycled on-site by black soldier fly larvae, with byproducts including organic compost used in traditional agricultural practices, animal feed for replacing unsustainable fish meal and soy oil, and water for use in the vertical farming towers. The technologies on site will also recover up to 90 percent of ammonia sulphate from wastewater for use in plant fertilizers, and produce organic biodegradable polymers designed to gradually release water and nutrients to crops in arid regions.

‍ReFarm and IGS announced this partnership from their demonstration facility built in Dubai in celebration of COP28. The site features industrial replicas of five of the six complementary technologies that will be brought together at the Dubai Food Tech Valley, and fresh produce grown in the vertical farming Growth Towers has been provided to cloud kitchen business, Kitopi.

RELATED: Intelligent Growth Solutions, based in Dundee, UK, has refined its modular system over the last 10 years, consisting of pairs of Growth Towers which come in 6, 9, or 12-meter-high variants. New AG International put the questions to Dave Scott, CTO and founder to learn more. Read Towering Ambition

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