As countries – including Saudi Arabia – roll out their vaccination drives, health and logistics sectors and pharmaceutical companies around the world are preparing their cold storage solutions across the chain to ensure safe and efficient transportation and storage of the Covid-19 vaccines at very low temperatures, ranging between -20 to -70 degrees Celsius.
Moderna has stressed that its vaccine must be kept at a freezing temperature of -20 degrees Celsius for long-term storage (up to six months); while it can be stored for 30 days at a temperature ranging between two to eight degrees Celsius. As for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, it requires to be stored at -70 degrees Celsius. Meanwhile, the preservation and storage temperature of the Russian vaccine, Sputnik V, ranges between 2 to 8 degrees Celsius.
Al Salem Johnson Controls, a pioneering provider of integrated solutions in HVAC-R, fire, safety and security systems, and building management systems in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon and Yemen, has extensive experience in the field of industrial refrigeration and the implementation of cold store projects, as well as customising and engineering refrigeration solutions to suit the requirements of each project, depending on the nature and needs of the materials being stored. The company stated that it is offering its expertise to support the health sector and pharmaceutical companies in equipping industrial cold stores with the latest technologies, through systems that ensure temperatures set by each vaccine manufacturer.
The company has vast experience in the customisation, design and development of industrial refrigeration projects. It has implemented many large projects in several cities across the kingdom, in various sectors, including logistics centres, refrigeration warehouses, meat and poultry factories, storage facilities for fruits and vegetables, processed food factories, water and beverages factories, medicine, dairy plants.
Among the key industrial refrigeration projects and cold stores implemented by Al Salem Johnson Controls are Shahini Holding Group in Riyadh, Transmed Distribution Company, Naqel Express, Al Rabie Saudi Foods Company, and three dairy and ice cream factories of the Saudi Dairy and Food Company (SADAFCO).
The industrial refrigeration is not a standard system that can be used for all projects; it requires a thorough study of the project’s facilities, utilisations and nature of work. In manufacturing facilities, it is crucial to determine whether the system will be used to cool the facility, the production lines or both. Therefore, as a first step, industrial refrigeration engineers at Al Salem Johnson Controls visit and study the site from all aspects, then design and develop a system according to its cooling requirements.
Transfer of Global Knowledge
Al Salem Johnson Controls stated that its 29 years partnership as a JV with Johnson Controls International enables them to provide its customers with the latest technologies and transfer the global expertise to the kingdom. Recently, Johnson Controls International was part of a team designing, developing and implementing a cold store at the Danish Odense University Hospital, by merging two industrial refrigeration systems that use ammonia and methane, to reach the required cooling of the cold store, spreading across an area of 352 square meters. The system can reach a temperature of -80 degrees Celsius, close to the temperature needed to preserve and store Covid-19 vaccines. The system used SABROE Chillers, a global leader in industrial refrigeration solutions, under the umbrella of Johnson Controls International.
Al Salem Johnson Controls offers diverse industrial refrigeration systems; among them the system that utilises ammonia as a refrigerant, suitable for applications requiring a cooling capacity up to -45 degrees Celsius, while for applications requiring lower temperatures, a system utilising a combination of ammonia and methane is used.