District cooling demand heats up
District cooling companies in the Middle East and Africa are expected to dominate over 40 per cent of overall global demand by 2019.
The UAE district cooling sector is projected to grow by over 18 per cent in the next five years amid rapid construction and surging demand for power and cooling.
The UAE district cooling companies, which include names such as Emirates District Cooling (Emicool), Empower and Tabreed among others, are expected to play pivotal roles in the industry's growth across Middle East and Africa.
Moreover, district cooling companies in the Middle East and Africa are expected to dominate over 40 per cent of overall global demand by 2019, which is expected to reach $29 billion in value terms in the next four years, new research said.
New projects are witnessing a shift from traditional air-conditioning to district cooling that helps save energy and cut down on maintenance and environmental damage.
District cooling uses 40 per cent to 50 per cent less energy than traditional air-conditioning systems, which can account for 70 per cent of a building's electricity bill. Producing one tonne of refrigeration using conventional air conditioning takes 1.8?kw of electrical power, while district cooling can consume 0.85?kw per tonne.
Emicool, a joint venture between Dubai Investments and Union Properties, is set to boost its market share from the current 12 per cent to 20 per cent. Emicool is targeting expansion of its plant capacity in Dubai Investments Park (DIP) to 250,000 tonnes of refrigeration (TR) in the coming years from the existing 115,000 TR.
This is part of Emicool's overall growth plans which will see it increase its capacity to 500,000 TR by 2020 as DIP plans to build over 1,150 residential units in the future. The company will also expand its geographical presence to Saudi Arabia and Qatar in the coming years.
"There is a huge commitment to the cause of sustainability in the UAE and regionally. The benefits of district cooling are evident and master planners are increasingly incorporating district cooling systems in future projects. Emicool is eyeing strong growth as residential projects and demand picks up in the region," said Adib Moubadder, CEO of Emicool.
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