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Saudis to build carbon-negative concrete factory 

Rick Fox, chief executive of Partanna, whose company makes carbon-negative concrete, says: 'We’re going to de-link Saudi Arabia’s development from pollution' Ronnie Archer
Rick Fox, chief executive of Partanna, whose company makes carbon-negative concrete, says: 'We’re going to de-link Saudi Arabia’s development from pollution'
  • Concrete for 9,000 homes a year  
  • Roshn works on Saudi giga-project
  • Saudi cement manufacturing booms

The Saudi real estate company Roshn Group and the Bahamas-based startup Partanna have agreed to build a factory to produce carbon-negative concrete in the kingdom.

The specifics of the agreement, including the facility’s size and location, are still being finalised, a Partanna spokesperson told AGBI

The factory could have the capacity to produce enough concrete to build up to 9,000 homes annually, assuming a typical home size of 162 square metres. 

Roshn is building the latest PIF giga-project, a waterfront mixed-use destination called Marafy that is intended to feature an 11 km-long canal north of Jeddah.

The builder plans to construct more than 400,000 homes, 1,000 kindergartens and schools and more than 700 mosques across the kingdom by 2030. 

Partanna specialises in the production of carbon-negative concrete and other building materials. It has developed what it calls a “pioneering” technology for making products that absorb, rather than emit, carbon dioxide.

Last year, Partanna struck a deal with the Saudi developer Red Sea Global to trial various applications of its technology with a view to a long-term supply agreement for its materials. 

The building and construction industry is among the world’s biggest emitters, accounting for around 38 percent of carbon emissions, International Energy Agency figures show. Cement manufacturing accounts for around 8 percent. 

With the GCC construction industry expanding rapidly, driven by Saudi Arabia’s giga-projects such as Neom, developers are seeking greener building materials such as carbon-negative concrete. But they need them in large quantities. 

Saudi Arabia’s concrete market in particular is swelling on high demand. It reached an approximate volume of 236.7 million metric tonnes in 2023 and is expected to grow at an annual rate of 3.7 percent between 2024 and 2032, according to Expert Market Research.  

Under the agreement with Roshn, the planned Saudi production facility would manufacture Partanna’s carbon-negative concrete pavers, with the potential to deliver blocks, tiles, pre-cast and pour-in-place products over time.  

“We’re going to de-link Saudi Arabia’s development from pollution… and show the world you can build sustainably without compromise,” said Partanna ‘s chief executive, Rick Fox. 

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