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In the scorching heat of the Saudi Arabian desert, more than 100 Cat® machines are moving 20,000 cubic meters of sand every day to build the world’s largest fully-integrated Aquaculture project. The prawn farm run by Saudi Arabia’s National Prawn Company (NPC) produces 50 tons of prawns daily in a remarkably environmental-friendly way.

A self-sufficient, sustainable business
The huge prawn farm uses desert land unsuitable for agriculture or housing, and water from the Red Sea. It does not destroy mangroves which are the traditional locations for prawn farms. It relies on its own energy with a desalination installation and a 21megawatt power plant as well as 4 mobile Cat generator sets. The prawn species farmed at NPC are indigenous to the Red Sea and are grown naturally, without antibiotics or hormones.

It has also become one of the foremost Research & Development centres for Aquaculture. “In building this prawn farm we’ve had to research and develop our own hydro dynamic concepts, our own mechanical harvesting methods, and our own high-saline feed formulas,” says Ahmad Al-Balla, general manager NPC. “What’s more we’ve developed our own, highly-rigorous bio-security regimes – as you can imagine the health and hygiene of our product is our main concern. We are proud that we have never had a single prawn rejected.”

Why Caterpillar®?

“In addition to Cat’s proven reputation for quality and reliability, the expert service and support from the local Cat dealer made it an obvious business decision to go 100 percent Cat,” says Rao Ganeswara, earthworks manager at NPC. Zahid Tractor was present right from start, conducting a site survey and providing free-of-charge a complete case study of earthmoving needs with machine recommendations and benefit analysis. “Of course, NPC has its own team of highly skilled service technicians, but for the articulated dump trucks, Zahid Tractor sends its own engineers to check the advanced electronics in these machines,” says Rao. “They also offer the parts delivery service, the weekly visit of a dedicated aplication engineer to check our machine overall health and performance. Besides, Zahid Tractor gives a full day-training to all our new machine operators.”

As a result of all this expertise, NPC intends to extend its activities into in-land fish farming – which also promises to be totally self-sufficient and 100 percent sustainable.