ABU DHABI, 3rd April 2017 – Tribe Infrastructure Group, the Abu Dhabi-based advisory and investment firm, has finalised the capital raising for the construction and operation of the largest hydroponics vegetable greenhouse in the UAE.
The project, called “The Farmhouse”, in the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah aims to help reduce dependency on imported produce, by supplying high-quality locally grown vegetables with a longer shelf life to UAE retailers.
The initial phase of the project involves the construction of a 40,000 sq. m. greenhouse using hydroponics -- a method of growing plants without soil, using mineral nutrient solutions in a water solvent. The site has the potential for construction of four more similar facilities.
Equity investors include UAE and foreign individuals, with Tribe Infrastructure Group playing a key role in structuring the project, arranging all finance, and investing directly.
“This kind of innovative project is key to the UAE government’s goals of food security,” said Peter McCreanor, Chief Executive Officer of Tribe Infrastructure Group. “It will bring a highly reliable supply of quality vegetables to the local market all year round, saving costs related to transportation and storage and reducing our carbon footprint. Our produce will have double the shelf life of imports, which gives a significant economic advantage for retailers, as well as minimizing waste.”
The hydroponics infrastructure and expertise for “The Farmhouse” will be supplied by Spanish firm Integra, a family business that has pioneered the technology in the Almeria region of Spain. The approach is suited to the climate of the UAE, typically needs only 10 percent of the water used in conventional farming, and delivers over 10 times the yield. The Farmhouse will also be completely free of pesticides and chemicals.
The UAE currently imports around 90 percent of its fruits and vegetables, with demand in 2017 estimated at 2.1 million tonnes of produce. The potential for hydroponics use in the country is high, with 525 greenhouses of the size being built by “The Farmhouse” needed to fully meet current demand.
Construction of the hydroponics greenhouse will begin in the first half of 2017, with the first crops of tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini and capsicum scheduled for the fourth quarter of the year. The greenhouse has a steel structure, and employs an automated shade system to regulate solar radiation according to requirements. It will contain a cooling pad that converts hot air into a cool breeze using evaporating water.
Based in Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), Tribe is helping clients deliver sustainable infrastructure in the Middle East, Asia and Australia, including in the areas of waste-to-energy and power production. In the UAE, the firm is working closely with companies to structure and finance a variety of district cooling, real estate and sustainable agriculture projects.
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Tribe is an advisory and investment practice specialized in the development and financing of infrastructure transactions with a focus on long term sustainability. Tribe brings a rich blend of expertise to its partnerships, including in engineering, investment banking and law.
With offices in the UAE, Australia and the Philippines, Tribe provides a wide range of advisory and development services to clients that span the project life-cycle, including strategic planning, project development, M&A and restructuring of operational assets.
Since inception in 2011 Tribe has advised on landmark transactions in the district utilities, waste to energy, toll road, energy storage, social infrastructure and sustainable food sectors.
For further information, please visit tribeig.com
Tribe Infrastructure Group
Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM)
Al Maryah Island
Abu Dhabi, UAE
+971 55 895 5009 (UAE)