Beginning of January saw the first-ever HVACR Expo Saudi taking place in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The show proved to be an instant success, attracting almost 2,200 visitors. Top brands from around the globe such as Baltimore Aircoil Company (BAC), Carrier, Coolex, ebm-papst, Friterm, and Johnson Controls were present, showcasing their latest innovations to visitors from throughout the Kingdom. In addition to the exhibitors, a comprehensive educational programme of 17 sessions was hosted in cooperation with Eurovent.
Rising awareness on energy efficiency in Saudi Arabia
The fact that the seminar theatre was either full or near to capacity throughout the entire event reflects an increasing interest in energy efficiency in Saudi Arabia. Energy costs in the Kingdom have risen and investors start realising that energy saving technologies can lead to a reasonable Return on Investment. This is being supported by various initiatives introduced by authorities in the Kingdom.
Within the scope of the Saudi Energy Efficiency programme, the Saudi Standards, Metrology and Quality Organization (SASO) is working on standards to increase minimum efficiency requirements. As of 2017, for example, IE3 motors will be required, while today IE2 are still accepted. Another example constitutes Saudi standard SASO 2663:2014. This revised standard sets energy labelling and minimum energy performance requirements for air-conditioners. It demands products to carry an EER (Energy Efficiency Requirements) label in order receive a Certificate of Conformity required to sell on the Saudi market.
Risk of one-sided standards limiting product choice for Saudi customers
While exhibitors during the HVACR Expo Saudi have welcomed these initiatives, many local producers and importers have also expressed concerns. In particular, it was remarked that Saudi authorities would need to ensure that their initiatives include sufficient references to international standards. A too one-sided reference to standards from one region only would lead to a limited product choice for Saudi customers while preventing a level-playing field.
Comprehensive educational programme during exhibition
With its ‘Innovation Hub’, the European sector federation Eurovent had provided a dedicated programme during the HVACR Expo Saudi. Throughout 17 sessions, a wide-ranging amount of issues in the area of indoor climate, refrigeration and food cold chain was covered.
BAC, Carrier, and Kelvion (formerly: GEA Polacel Cooling Towers) have teamed up, highlighting how water cooled chillers and evaporative cooling technologies can reduce energy demands in hot climates zones. By providing a system comparison, the manufacturers explained the various advantages centrifugal chillers with cooling towers would have over a system with radiators - including reduced energy and first costs.
In another session, ebm-papst, Systemair, and European air curtain manufacturers have introduced intelligent ventilation solutions. Next to raising awareness on highly efficient EC motor technologies for fans, a focus was put on achieving a better indoor air through state-of-the-art air filters, smart AHUs, and by creating an effective air barrier through air curtains. Theoretical background on indoor air quality was provided by Prof. Geo Clausen from Denmark Technical University, one of the most renowned global experts on this topic.
Eurovent Delegation with diplomatic participation
In the course of the exhibition, Eurovent organised a trade delegation to Jeddah with close to 30 participants from Europe and Japan. One of the highlights marked a HVACR industry reception at the Italian Consulate in Jeddah. The reception saw more than 70 guests including high-ranking representatives of Saudi authorities and trade associations, the Consul Generals of France, Germany, Italy, and Turkey. Various industry cooperation projects were reportedly initiated during this event.
HVACR Expo Saudi will return in January 2017, from 15 to 17, and promises to be even bigger and better – with many exhibitors already confirming their participation.