Singapore Airport Terminal Services (Sats) is investing SR108m ($28.8m) to build a cold chain facility at Dammam’s King Fahd International airport in Saudi Arabia.

The dedicated cold chain facility will be part of a new cargo terminal designed to handle up to 150,000 tonnes of cargo a year near the airport.

The cold chain facility is designed to meet the growing needs of Saudi Arabia’s pharmaceutical and food industries to ship high-value, temperature-sensitive goods. The facility is expected to be completed in early 2019.

Sats won a 22.5-year concession agreement to provide cargo-handling services at the Dammam airport in August.

The concession marks the first contract signed by Sats in the kingdom and the second in the GCC region. The firm entered into a joint venture with Oman Air in April to handle cargo services at Muscat International.

Sats is understood to control about 80 percent of the ground-handling and catering business in Singapore’s Changi Airport.

Back in 2008, the General Authority of Civil Aviation (Gaca) signed $42.5m, six-year contract with Changi Airports International to operate the Dammam airport. This contract expired in 2014 and was extended for another year.

Dammam’s airport handled 95,321 tonnes of cargo in 2015, in addition to 9.4 million passengers.