Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is driving the growth of the US$150 billion global district cooling market – which will be the focus of the two-day MENA District Cooling Projects Conference taking place from June 14-15, 2022, in Dubai, UAE.
Organised by Great Minds Events Management (GM Events), more than 250 delegates including senior government officials, project owners, developers, utility suppliers, industry experts and key stakeholders will participate at the MENA District Cooling Projects Conference that will see more than 25 international and regional experts discuss the current market outlook, opportunities and challenges in the region’s district cooling industry – that is becoming more popular due to its energy efficiency.
More than 20 leading organisations from 10 countries will showcase their products and services at the conference through an exhibition which will be covered by 35 trade publications.
Global district cooling market size is expected to cross US$150 billion by 2025, according to Global Market Insights. The Middle East district cooling market value is estimated to exceed US$15 billion by 2027 – or roughly 10 percent of the global market size.
“Rising infrastructure expenditure along with growing emphasis toward adoption of advanced technologies will drive the industry dynamics. Growing inclination toward adoption of advanced cooling systems on account of environmental and economic benefits will enhance the industry dynamics,” Global Market Insights says in a recent report.
High reliability and increased energy efficiency are few of the paramount features offered by district cooling systems which will boost the business trends. Moreover, minimal environmental emissions along with the implementation of stringent emission norms across the Middle East will further complement the industry outlook, the report said.
The UAE district cooling market – the largest in the Middle East – is growing at a faster pace propelled by climate conditions and increased infrastructure spending. Many businesses in the region are adopting district cooling systems due to cost-efficiency and long-term service. District cooling systems use 50 percent less energy than air conditioners, thereby decreasing initial capital investment and maintenance costs. The equipment can operate smoothly for up to a 30-year span, enhancing technology adoption.
Fares Ahmad, Head of Emaar District Cooling, says, “Driven by a number of inter-related global trends, the energy industry is experiencing unprecedented change and a lot of challenges. We should take an active approach in caring for the environment, being more sustainable and promoting our nation’s green development.
“The UAE’s commitment to finding green solutions, reducing CO2 emissions and the use of high, efficient and new sustainable district cooling technologies across the country has led to improved energy performances and reduced carbon footprint.”
District cooling is ideal for large establishments such as airports, commercial buildings, university campuses, and residential towers. The technology relies on a centralised cooling plant, which facilitates cooling within its grid through a network of the underground piping system carrying chilled water.
“District cooling is by far the most energy-efficient way to cool buildings in arid environments. However, the goal is to find ways through our programme to make it more sustainable and efficient. We do see opportunities in improving plant efficiency through energy retrofits, digitalisation, modernisation, technology incorporation, reducing the usage of potable water, etc. While UAE is building its green economy, district cooling will be a key contributor to the UAE’s Green Growth Strategy as we are marching towards COP28,” Arvind Shekar, Production Lead, Great Minds Event Management – organiser of the MENA District Cooling Projects Conference, says.
“As the biggest district cooling market, we are pleased to organise the MENA District Cooling Projects Conference in Dubai. This will help industry stakeholders to look at the new district cooling projects very closely.
“Due to the 50 percent reduction in energy cost, district cooling is the most favoured source of utilities and we see new projects being announced in Dubai in the coming months and years, as the government wants to cut down the energy costs and reduce carbon footprint.
“In this regard, the MENA District Cooling Projects Conference, will help industry stakeholders to take advantage of the new business opportunities. The two-day conference will focus on the new district cooling projects, which will help contractors, suppliers, project owners and utility providers to prepare their business development plan.”
Suliman Al-Khliwi, Managing Director of Saudi Tabreed, says, “District cooling adds enormous value in terms of improving building space utilisation, reduce noise pollution, reduce refrigerant use and most importantly reduce cost of cooling substantially.
“As of today, Saudi Tabreed has active 5 concessions and several lease and O&M contracts and is the leading district cooling provider in the region. It plans to maintain its leading footprint in the district cooling landscape in the country and intends to keep bringing further efficiencies by technology optimization to provide a sustainable district cooling solution for the country. Saudi Tabreed has recently achieved the financial close for three projects: Red Sea Development, KFUPM and Jawhara mall.”
The district cooling market in the UAE is also witnessing consolidation in the UAE. Emirates District Cooling Corporation (Empower), the world’s largest district cooling services provider, is expanding its capacity, while it is also acquiring other district cooling operators. In 2021, Empower acquired the district cooling plant of Dubai International Airport for Dh 1.1 billion.
Last year, Empower acquired Nakheel’s district cooling unit, with a total cooling capacity of 110,000 Refrigeration Tons (RT) and a total value of Dh860 million.
Through 84 plant rooms and a more than 350 kilometers-long network, Empower operates on more than 1.64 million RT and serves more than 140,000 corporate and individual consumers in more than 1,252 buildings. Empower employs more than 845 professionals at its offices and plants in Dubai, and holds more than 76 percent market share of Dubai’s district cooling sector.
Among the key topics, experts will discuss the future landscape of district cooling in MENA region, modernisation of district cooling plants; overcoming the challenges in energy management of district cooling, challenges in construction of a district cooling plant; digital transformation in district cooling that includes key issue such as – the digitalisation of district cooling plants to drive financial and operational competitiveness; joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions in district cooling industry and lots of new project announcements and updates on existing district cooling projects.
The MENA District Cooling Projects Conference will be attended by officials of civic bodies such as municipalities, utility providers, utility operators, contractors, sub-contractors, materials suppliers, consultants, engineers, regulatory bodies and developers, etc. Participants at the conference could also network to secure businesses from these latest projects that are currently in early stage of execution.