Van der Hoeven signs design, build and operate contract with NEOM

Van der Hoeven Horticultural Projects (Van der Hoeven) has been awarded a design, build and operate contract by NEOM for two separate horticultural test facilities as part of the NEOM development in Saudi Arabia Tabuk Province. NEOM’s Food sector strives to become the world’s most food self-sufficient region, able to nourish residents with diverse, healthy food while preserving natural resources and reducing waste.

Michiel Schoenmaeckers, recently appointed CEO of Van der Hoeven: “A design, build and operate contract of this scale is unprecedented in the industry and thus we are very pleased to have been selected. As Van der Hoeven, we have a rich tradition in creating sustainable horticultural solutions to the highest technical and environmental standards. The scope of this contract allows us to realize and demonstrate the latest technologies, with the aim of bringing the horticultural industry forward on a global scale in terms of carbon neutral climate control, efficient water management and A.I.-driven crop growing and harvesting.”

The two facilities are built in different climate zones and will serve as commercial scale pilots to optimize technological configurations. In one location a novel solar and seawater driven cooling system will be introduced to operate the greenhouse throughout the extreme summer heat without making use of fossil fuels or putting a strain on local energy grids.

The contract entails design and construction of the two facilities covering a combined area of over 110,000 square meters, and the service to operate and maintain both facilities for a span of multiple years.

About Van der Hoeven

Van der Hoeven is a global leader in the design, construction and operation of horticultural infrastructure. The company focuses specifically on tailored solutions with a reduced footprint of produce concerning carbon dioxide, pesticides and water. The company continuously invests in R&D to strengthen its propositions.
Arvesta, a full service provider for farmers and growers, became shareholder of Van der Hoeven in 2020. Thanks to its unique expertise and innovative smart-farming solutions, Arvesta is building sustainably on the agriculture of the future. The company is the market leader in Belgium and is internationally active with branches in the Netherlands, France and Germany.
The partnership with Arvesta allows Van der Hoeven to accelerate towards its mission to provide a sustainable taste anywhere.

About NEOM

NEOM is an accelerator of human progress and a vision of what a New Future might look like. It is a region in northwest Saudi Arabia on the Red Sea being built from the ground up as a living laboratory – a place where entrepreneurship will chart the course for this New Future. It will be a destination and a home for people who dream big and want to be part of building a new model for exceptional livability, creating thriving businesses and reinventing environmental conservation.
NEOM will include hyperconnected, cognitive towns and cities, ports and enterprise zones, research centers, sports and entertainment venues, and tourist destinations. As a hub for innovation, entrepreneurs, business leaders and companies will come to research, incubate, and commercialize new technologies and enterprises in groundbreaking ways. Residents of NEOM will embody an international ethos and embrace a culture of exploration, risk-taking and diversity – all supported by a progressive law compatible with international norms and conducive to economic growth.

As a living laboratory, NEOM is being built from the ground up, with bold, innovative projects that will chart a path for a new future in harmony with nature. NEOM is the largest of Saudi Arabia's giga-projects and a cornerstone of Vision 2030, which defines agriculture as one of the five strategic sectors to achieve food security and diversify the Saudi economy. Through its Food sector, NEOM aims to design, promote and innovate individualized approaches to food, as well as deliver eco-friendly and water-efficient solutions and technologies, in addition to minimizing waste and embracing a circular food economy system. For further information email, or visit and