Business | Oil & Gas

Big Mac cooking oil will be converted into biofuel

Biodiesel will be used by fast food giant McDonalds to operate its delivery trucks

  • By Zaher Bitar, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 20:04 July 3, 2011
  • Gulf News

Dubai: The Dubai government has launched a clean-technology venture in which waste cooking oil will be converted into eco-friendly fuel. The biodiesel will be used by fast food giant McDonalds to operate its delivery trucks.

The announcement came Sunday at a meeting of Dubai FDI, the foreign investment promotion arm of the Department of Economic Development, and will see new Dubai-based company Neutral Fuels and McDonald’s UAE working in partnership.

Vegetable oil will be collected from McDonald’s outlets under a long-term contract and converted into 100 per cent biodiesel. This will be used to power the fast food chain’s vehicles, significantly reducing its carbon footprint.

Fahad Al Gergawi, CEO of Dubai FDI, said: “Neutral Fuels and McDonald’s UAE have formed a unique synergy that promotes business as well as conservation.

“It is testament to the innovative opportunities avaliable in Dubai for profitable investment, business growth and the commercial application of state-of-the-art technologies. It also underscores the fact that sustainability makes good business sense.

“Dubai’s world-class infrastructure, business-friendly policies and proximity to fast-growing markets worldwide make it a preferred investment destination and regional hub.

“In recent years Dubai has also pioneered a sustainability movement with strong support from the government.

“At Dubai FDI we support businesses to leverage these unique strengths throughout their entire life-cycle, upholding respect to the environment and the local community.”

Agreement

Under the agreement, McDonald’s will collect 22,000 litres of cooking oil a month, said Rafic Fakih, managing director of McDonald’s UAE.

“As a founder of the CSR Network and partner of Emirates Environment Group, McDonald’s UAE has demonstrated a passionate and long-term commitment to investing in environmental initiatives,” he said.

“We are proud to be the first McDonald’s in the region to adopt this exciting environmental initiative, in collaboration with our trusted partners DED and Neutral Fuels.

“We believe it is a step in the right direction towards a more environmentally-friendly UAE, and we would encourage other public and private companies to do the same.”

Pointing to the cost of processing the cooking oil, Fakih added: “We don’t have any extra cost. We pay the same for bio-diesel that we used to pay for diesel.”

Karl Feilder, chairman of the Neutral Group, added: “It is a pleasure to be working with McDonald’s and it is an honour to be the first company to be licensed by the government to produce biodiesel in the Middle East.”

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