A  section of the plant

A section of the plant

Safid looks ahead with optimism

The company, a leading duct manufacturer, has made a distinct mark in local industry and is spreading its wings overseas with a plant in Dubai under construction

February 2016

Engineered air solutions provider Safid is undeterred by a drop in output and sales and believes new plants it is building will be in time for a recovery in markets it expects to happen before long.

“We’re optimistic and we’re confident the economic situation in the GCC will strengthen. We believe that after each dip there will be a recovery,” said managing director Jamal Jawhari.

Output was down from around 18,000 tonnes in 2014 to approximately 15,000 tonnes last year, while turnover slipped from SR250 million ($66.6 million) to SR230 million.

Jawhari commented that the slides were understandable in the circumstances.

“Safid has achieved very good output in 2015 considering the economic situation from mid-2015 onwards. The decrease in sales is understandable and it’s a regional and international situation beyond our control, especially with the oil prices continuing to drop in countries where oil is the major income,” he said.

Jawhari also noted that government projects were cancelled or put on hold.

Sheikh Mohammed: inspirational force

Sheikh Mohammed: inspirational force

The company manufactures air distribution systems and accessories, air devices and terminals, corrugated voids, air handling units and fan coil units. Jawhari said air distribution systems (ductwork) accounted for 65 per cent of sales, followed by dampers and accessories, air devices and terminals.

Ductwork did well because of the sheer volume buyers need. “For example, you won’t have dampers if there is no ductwork. Ductwork always accumulates around 60 to 70 per cent of an air distribution system in a project excluding air handling units, FCUs and chillers,” he explained.

Dampers accounted for 25 per cent of sales and air outlets came third with 10 per cent. The company’s tested and certified high-quality manufacturing of dampers and outlets made them successful in markets, Jawhari said.

Last year the Saudi Western Province accounted for most domestic sales mainly because of the Makkah expansion project. Dubai and Kuwait led the company’s export sales with overseas markets taking more dampers of different types and flexible ducts than other Safid products. Year 2015 marked the launch of air handling units following a licence agreement with the Italian manufacturer Klimak.

“By introducing AHUs, Safid can now provide a complete chain solution of an HVAC system, said Jawhari. “Safid has had a big impact on the air distribution industry in the region,” he said. “By investing significantly in innovation through our R&D laboratory to develop best-quality products and by promoting the most efficient and effective systems that are also more environmental friendly to the industry, Safid has been at the forefront for better air quality, according to the official.

“As we worked closely with clients and consultants, we succeeded in applying diversified international standards and qualifications for the industry product line, and that forced a lot of companies to improve on the quality and specs of their products.

“Another aspect is our lead in innovation through our R&D laboratory that is very active in improving our product line and providing better air solutions.”

Jawhari said focusing on the HVAC industry, updating new industry-related norms and techniques, and continuously providing new products and solutions to its clients were key to Safid’s success.



Jawhari: sees good prospects

Jawhari: sees good prospects

Safid is building new production facilities in Jeddah and Riyadh as well as one in Dubai, United Iron and Steel (UIS).

The new production facilities in Riyadh will mainly produce AHUs and dampers while the new plant in Jeddah will produce Safid’s full range of HVAC products. “These new facilities will considerably add to our production capacity although it is too early to give a more precise forecast for that,” said Jawhari.

The Dubai plant – its Dh1 billion ($270 million) joint venture with the UAE’s Abdul Jalil Group – will be manufacturing galvanised steel coils from hot rolled coils as raw material. Safid will purchase 30 to 50 per cent of its steel requirements from the new plant.

The UIS plant is expected to be completed this year.



Over the past two years, Safid has been involved with a number of projects including Makkah schemes – the Haram expansion, the pedestrian tunnel, the Haramain high-speed railway and the Jabal Omar Development; Riyadh projects – Waseel Hills, Hilton Hotel, CMA Tower at KAFD, power plants, Dara Hospital, ITCC parcels and King Khaled International Ailrport; other projects – Dammam Hospital, King Abdulla project at several locations, and KKU Medical City in the Western Province.



Safid, was established in 1979 as a joint venture company between the Rahbani Group and Nokia of Finland, but in 1992 it became a wholly Saudi company.  Safid states that it started its operations and production with the aim of developing and manufacturing air distribution products based on the latest technological advancements and expertise in the field. Initially, it manufactured spiral, round and flat oval ducts, but the company has since diversified to become one of the leading operators of its kind in the Gulf. Today, Safid has the ability to manufacture a complete range of products and accessories for commercial and industrial air distribution based on Smacna, DIN and BS Standards.

The chairman of Safid is Sheikh Mohammed Al Rahbani, who is also chairman of the Dubai joint venture company UIS.

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