x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Saudi Tabreed in Mecca district cooling plan

Saudi Tabreed, a district cooling company part-owned by the UAE's Tabreed, has inked a deal to supply air conditioning to one of Mecca's biggest developments.

Saudi Tabreed, a district cooling company part-owned by the UAE's air conditioning giant Tabreed, has signed an agreement to build and operate a plant in Mecca's massive Jabal Omar development.

The deal makes Saudi Tabreed the exclusive provider of air conditioning to Jabal Omar via a planned cooling plant with a capacity of 55,000 refrigerated tonnes. Roughly speaking, one tonne-hour of cooling is necessary to chill an area of 250 square feet.

Saudi Tabreed did not put a value on the venture, but it will be one of the largest for the company since its founding in 2005 and gives it a foothold in one of Mecca's most important developments.

Situated within walking distance of Mecca's Grand Mosque, the Jabal Omar development includes apartment towers and hotels to accommodate 36,000 residents and 150,000 worshippers during the peak Ramadan season, according to a project description from 2008.

The $5.5 billion (Dh20.2bn) project is part of a redevelopment of central Mecca designed to cope with a rising population and persistent overcrowding during the holy month. It is currently under construction.

Saudi Tabreed's deal with Jabal Omar gives it the right to supply cooling to buildings in the project for 20 years, according to a statement posted on the Dubai Financial Market's (DFM) website. Other contracts with Jabal Omar and other developers to supply the full cooling capacity of the plant "are expected to be signed shortly", the statement said.

Saudi Tabreed runs cooling plants for Saudi Aramco, one of the world's biggest oil companies. It also supplies district cooling to the King Abdullah Financial District in Riyadh.

Tabreed, which owns 25 per cent of Saudi Tabreed, is listed on the DFM and posted the statement to comply with disclosure regulations.