Steering ahead

Khalid Al Marzouqi, CEO of Tabreed, tells us what makes the company the district cooling partner of choice

By Mitchelle D’Souza

Published: Mon 12 Jul 2021, 9:32 AM

Established 22 years ago, the National Central Cooling Company (Tabreed) has established itself as a preferred cooling partner in the GCC region.

Khalid Al Marzouqi, CEO of Tabreed, takes us through the milestones achieved by the company and how it has pioneered district cooling across the GCC.

Built on success

Al Marzouqi’s current role of CEO at Tabreed follows many prior designations of repute. He has assumed important positions in the past such as Chief Operating Officer of Dolphin Energy Limited and senior roles at the Abu Dhabi Department of Transport and Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority.

Al Marzouqi considers his present stint at Tabreed a continuation of his prolific career. “My role as CEO of Tabreed is a natural progression, considering the amount of experience I’ve amassed in the energy and utility sectors, and I am really looking forward to steering one of the UAE’s most important and progressive companies over the coming years,” he said.

Cooling solutions

National Central Cooling Company, more commonly known as Tabreed on the Dubai Financial Market, was established in 1998. Since then, Tabreed quickly grew to include district cooling plants around the UAE and, in 2003, ventured further afield into the wider GCC, eventually becoming an international company in 2019.

The venture currently owns and operates 86 plants across the GCC region, providing a more energy-efficient, reliable and cost-effective method for cooling entire neighbourhoods. Some of the structures under Tabreed’s ambit include the Burj Khalifa, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and Louvre Abu Dhabi. They also dispense services to the Dubai Metro.

Staying resilient

Although 2020 was a tough year for most businesses, Tabreed adopted many strategies to circumvent the challenges posed by Covid-19. Many of Tabreed’s plants are fully automated and controlled remotely, negating the need for staff to be in close proximity to one another.

The repercussions of Covid-19 notwithstanding, the company acquired the world’s largest district cooling scheme in Downtown Dubai, as well as Abu Dhabi’s Saadiyat Island.

Al Marzouqi said, “Our growth has been fortified by investor confidence and our steadfast commitment to our customers.”

Invested in R&D

Research and development (R&D) is a central pillar for Tabreed as it develops new and more efficient ways of working that are kinder to the environment.

Giving a peek at some of their projects, Al Marzouqi revealed, “Earlier this year we announced the launch of four pilot projects that are part of Tabreed’s R&D funding commitment, which will improve operational efficiency while enhancing district cooling plant life and reliability. We’re harnessing the power of data and utilising that intelligence to accurately forecast customer demand, for instance, and developing new, cutting-edge engineering systems to keep energy consumption in our plants to a minimum.”

Sustainability goals

Tabreed is very committed to the UAE’s long-term environment and sustainability vision. Its district cooling systems consume 20 per cent to 30 per cent less energy than the most efficient conventional cooling solutions.

Al Marzouqi said, “We continue to push the envelope with technology and engineering prowess for the benefit of everyone. We are a progressive company built on the pursuit of excellence, so sustainability is an essential pillar for us and we will be actively involved in the UAE’s medium- to long-term plans and targets for net-zero carbon emissions over the next few years.”

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