JEDDAH: Johnson Controls International Arabia inaugurated its novel and largest YORK Manufacturing Complex in the Kingdom and the Middle East on Nov. 6 at King Abdullah Economic City.
At 200 sq. km, this YORK factory is also the largest in Africa, South Asia, Latin America and Europe. In addition, it is the company’s only factory equipped with its Open Blue research and development center and four testing facilities, all under one roof.
Mohanad Al-Shaikh, CEO of JCIA, said, “This retrofit project is the largest in recent history worldwide and one of the largest ever made. So truly, it’s a historic milestone for us, not only the integration but also the signing of this important strategic project for Saudi and the world.”
The earliest records of Johnson Controls International go back over 100 years, starting in Cairo and in Saudi Arabia. The company installed YORK air-conditioning systems for the first time at Kandara Palace Hotel in Jeddah in 1955.
Delegates from JCI, led by Chairman and CEO George Oliver, attended the inauguration of the complex.
Oliver said, “Today, we’re looking forward to the future with the inauguration of the new YORK factory and the opening of our latest Open Blue innovation centers. Recognizing that we only have a few of these centers globally, it’s special to have one within this facility.”
The newly opened factory will address residential, commercial and industrial segments for Saudi Arabia, the Gulf Cooperation Council and 20 other countries in the Middle East, Asia and Africa.
In an exclusive interview, Oliver told Arab News, “All of the products you see manufactured here are going to contribute to decarbonizing buildings; it sets the stage for the transformation Saudi Arabia is going through.”
As part of the company’s development strategy, the net-zero innovation center provides R&D capabilities. In addition, it provides a comprehensive view of how to upgrade buildings and make them smarter using artificial intelligence.
“The Open Blue technology helps decarbonize buildings, representing about 40 percent of the global carbon,” Oliver said.
He added: “The R&D center will be our next generation of innovation that will lead the buildings and infrastructure development as part of this transformation that’s happened within Saudi Arabia.”
Another milestone for this inauguration is the technology transfer of YORK’s YVAA chiller. Saudi Arabia will only be the third country after the US and China to make this great chiller with huge market potential.
“Producing the YVAA chiller here in Saudi will provide us with the key advantages in terms of cost, delivery time and growth in market share,” Oliver said.
He added: “I think over the next decade, there’ll be $7 trillion toward the whole transformation of Saudi Arabia, and I think not only to continue to drive sustainability, renewable energy but also making sure that we are diversifying the industrial base.”
Located near King Abdullah Port, the YORK manufacturing complex will improve Saudi heating, ventilation and air conditioning exports.
“YORK Manufacturing Complex caters to 70 percent of our domestic company HVAC sales in line with the ‘Saudi Made’ project objectives. We export 30 percent of our production to 25 countries spanning the Middle East, Africa, South Asia and beyond. At JCIA, we are keen on uplifting the local industry to meet regional and global advanced industrial standards, while providing leading technological solutions at the right cost and job opportunities for Saudi talents with local and international visionary goals,” Al-Shaikh said
JCIA is the first company in the Kingdom to provide energy services to private sector companies, complementing its track record of providing these services to public sector projects.
This service ensures that energy consumption costs are reduced by replacing existing solutions in private sector facilities with more modern and advanced solutions produced in the YORK industrial complex.