The UAE’s district cooling market is set to grow by 18 per cent in the next five years, according to Emirates District Cooling (Emicool).
The company – one of the country’s big three district cooling firms, along with Tabreed and Empower – said that UAE firms would play a greater role in the growth of the industry, which it said would increasingly be focused on the Middle East and Africa regions.
According to Emicool, about 40 per cent of overall demand from a market that is expected to be worth US$29 billion by 2019 would be generated from the region.
It said that this was largely due to rapid growth in construction, as well as greater demand for both power and cooling.
The fact that district cooling schemes are more energy efficient, requiring less power and maintenance, than traditional air conditioning means that it is in greater demand from developers of new projects, Emicool argues.
Adib Moubadder, the chief executive of Emicool, said that it had recently managed to convince master developers of low-rise buildings and villas in a number of areas of the viability of district cooling plants.
The company, which also has plants in Dubai Motor City, Dubai Sports City, Uptown Mirdif and at the new Palazzo Versace and D1 Tower buildings at Al Jadaf, experienced a 21 per cent increase in consumption during last year.
The company, which is a joint venture between Dubai Investments and Union Properties, is in the process of increasing capacity at its main plant at Dubai Investments Park from 115,000 tonnes of refrigeration (TR) capacity to 250,000 tonnes. It said this was part of a long-term plan to develop 500,000 TR by 2020 as it seeks to increase its share of the UAE market from 12 per cent of the total to 20 per cent.
“It is a known fact that developers and the governments alike appreciate district cooling as it drastically reduces building maintenance costs and electricity consumption,” said Mr Moubadder.
Last week, competitor Empower announced that it has taken part in a United Nations Environment Programme that rapidly assessed a number of Indian cities with a view to gauging suitability for district energy schemes.
Empower met officials from Pune and Coimbatore city councils to look at the potential for district cooling, as well as likely barriers.
“We firmly believe in the potential of cities transitioning to district cooling,” said Ahmad bin Shafar, the chief executive of Empower. “As a follow-up to this visit, we will send another delegation to other Indian cities in coming months for a project study.”
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