Egypt’s Minister of Environment Yasmine Fouad met, on Tuesday, with Arab Organization for Industrialization (AOI) Chairperson Abdel Moneim El-Tarras to discuss cooperation on the first palm waste recycling factory in the New Valley governorate.
Also present at the Tuesday meeting was the New Valley Governor, Mohamed Al-Zamalout.
During the meeting, El-Tarras said that it was agreed to establish a factory in Kharga oasis for Medium-Density Fibreboard (MDF) wood panels made from palm waste. The factory is set to have an annual capacity of 60,000 cubic metres (cbm).
The project is expected to achieve economic feasibility to meet the needs of the local MDF wood market, making use of the palm residues, in addition to the environmental benefits of their safe disposal, according to El-Tarras.
He explained that the factory’s production will reduce the need to import compressed wood. Egypt’s current bill for importing MDF wood stands at an annual amount of about $200m, while 400,000 cbm of MDF wood are purchased to meet the needs of the local market.
The meeting reviewed the outcomes of the practical experience in manufacturing MDF panels from palm fronds. The project is being implemented by a German company specialised in wood processing technology.
A quantity of palm waste, including palm fronds, from the New Valley, was used in the experiment, and the results of manufacturing and tests have shown the success of manufacturing MDF with high-quality materials.
For her part, Fouad emphasised the Ministry of Environment’s keenness to support all efforts between the New Valley Governorate and AOI that are currently underway, particularly in making use of palm leaves and waste to produce MDF wood.
The minister further noted that the establishment of a factory that produces wood from palm leaves will contribute to reducing environmental pollution. She attributed it to the use of local waste materials that will be manufactured with a profitable return for the farmer and the factory.