Ramboll wins role on 500MW Mecca cooling scheme

Danish engineer Ramboll has been appointed technical adviser for a 500MW district cooling project in the Saudi Arabian holy city of Mecca.

The contract is part of a plan to build a pedestrian pathway along King Abdul Aziz Road, which runs from the city’s western outskirts to the Grand Mosque, Masjid al-Haram. The scheme has been under development for the past five years

Ramboll has the job of delivering the conceptual design and handling the procurement process for Umm Al Qura Development & Construction, the company set up to handle the pathway.

Jens Ole Hansen, head of Ramboll’s International District Energy Department, said: "This is simply a grand project. The project will need 150MW of power to produce the 500MW of cooling, and this has a significant impact on the power network.

"Our first deliveries will be the design, location, and quantity of the chiller plants, together with the piping design and advice on the buildings’ connectivity to the pipeline network. And in phase two, we will assist the client in the procurement of the chiller plants."

The King Abdul Aziz Road project measures 3.7km, with an average width of 320m. It includes the construction of two roads, a metro line, and enough housing to accommodate 100,000 people.

The total construction area covers 630ha, and the project timeframe is approximately 10 years.

During the past eight years, 3,600 buildings have been demolished to make way for the pathway.

In April this year, Saudi contractor Nesma & Partners secured a $1.75bn contract from Umm Al Qura for infrastructure work on the pathway.

Top image: A rendering of the King Abdul Aziz Road in 2025 (Ramboll)

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