MENA District Cooling Projects 2022 kicks off as experts seek to benefit from US$15 billion project opportunities

Dubai: More than 250 delegates, including senior government officials, project owners, developers, utility providers, industry experts and key stakeholders, attended the first day of the highly anticipated MENA District Cooling Projects which kicked off today, June 14, 2022, at Raffles Hotel Dubai, UAE.

The two-day event discusses project opportunities worth $15 billion (55 billion dirhams), or 10% of the $150 billion global district cooling market. The conference comes at a time when the District Cooling sector is growing at a rapid pace in the UAE, the GCC and the rest of the Middle East and North Africa.

The UAE district cooling market is the largest in the Middle East and is growing at a faster rate, propelled by climatic conditions and increasing infrastructure spending. Many businesses in the region are adopting district cooling systems because of cost effectiveness and long-term service.

At MENA District Cooling Projects Conference, more than 25 international and regional experts gather to discuss the current market outlook, opportunities and challenges of the region’s district cooling industry, which is becoming increasingly popular due to its energy efficiency. More than 20 leading organizations from 10 countries showcase their products and services at the conference through an exhibition.

The event is attended by officials from civic organizations such as municipalities, utility providers, utility operators, contractors, sub-contractors, material suppliers, consultants, engineers, organizations regulators and developers, etc. Conference attendees benefit from tremendous networking and business opportunities, many have secured businesses around the latest projects which are currently in an early stage of execution.

Speakers at the event included top industry leaders including Leila Noubough Nasr, Senior District Cooling Regulatory Specialist, Department of Energy, James Grinnell, Head of the Office of Water, Regulation and Supervision of Electricity and Water Dubai (RSB), Suliman Al- Khliwi, Managing Director, Saudi Tabreed Abobaker Al Hadrami, Managing Director (LCCSO)/O&M Manager, Marafeq Qatar, Ezzeddine Jradi, Transformation and Business Excellence Manager, Emicool, Fares Ahmad, Managing Director, Emaar District Cooling and many other industry leaders.

With the goal of net zero emissions announced by the international community by 2050, most countries in the Middle East are now rushing to install new district cooling plants to reduce their carbon emissions. Following in the footsteps of the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Egypt and other countries are launching a large number of district cooling projects in the region – which will keep contractors busy and under -contractors for the next 15 to 20 years. , say the experts.

“Saudi Arabia spends a large amount of energy to generate 60,000 MW of electricity to power the economy, of which 60-70% is for air conditioning. However, we are now increasing district cooling supplies to reduce our dependence on energy and make the sector more environmentally friendly and sustainable,” said Suliman Al Khliwi, Managing Director of Saudi Tabreed.

He said Saudi Tabreed, which has a production capacity of 326,350 tons of refrigeration (RT) cooling in five long-term concession areas, recently won new concession areas to provide district cooling.

“We have realized investment savings worth SR 1.75 billion in Saudi Arabia. The district cooling market is booming in Saudi Arabia, where many new concession areas are springing up for all district cooling providers. It’s an exciting time for all of us,” he said.

Leila Noubough Nasr, Senior District Cooling Regulatory Specialist at the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy, said the government has put in place a sound regulatory environment for the district cooling sector in the emirate. “We have so far issued four licenses with a licensed capacity of 230,000 RTs in the emirate. One of the main achievements has been the reduction of consumption charges for residential end-users.”

Fares Ahmad, managing director of Emaar District Cooling, said his company has commissioned a new district cooling plant that produces air cooling – using new technology. “With new technologies deployed in our factories, we are currently offering the best cost savings to customers in our network and as more buildings appear in concession areas, efficiencies will improve,” he said. -he declares.

The aim of this conference is to find ways to make district cooling more sustainable and efficient. There are many opportunities to improve plant efficiency through energy retrofits, digitalization, modernization, incorporation of technologies, reduction of drinking water consumption, etc.

District cooling is, by far, the most energy efficient way to cool buildings in arid environments. High reliability and increased energy efficiency are some of the paramount features offered by district cooling systems that will drive business trends. It is ideal for large facilities such as airports, commercial buildings, college campuses and residential towers. The technology is based on a centralized cooling plant, which facilitates cooling within its network through a network of underground pipes carrying chilled water.

District cooling systems use 50% less energy than air conditioners, reducing initial investment and maintenance costs. The equipment can operate trouble-free for up to 30 years, improving technology adoption. District Cooling adds enormous value in terms of improving building space utilization, reducing noise pollution, reducing refrigerant usage and, most importantly, substantially reducing the cost of cooling.

Discussion topics of the MENA conference on district cooling projects included the future landscape of district cooling in the MENA region, modernization of district cooling plants; overcoming the challenges of district cooling energy management, the challenges of building a district cooling plant; the digital transformation of district cooling which includes key issues such as – digitization of district cooling plants to boost financial and operational competitiveness; joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions in district cooling industry and many new project announcements and updates on existing district cooling projects etc.

The conference began with a demonstration on “The future landscape and regulatory frameworks for district cooling in the MENA region”, followed by an exclusive presentation on project updates by Suliman Al-Khliwi, Managing Director, Saudi Tabreed, followed by an exclusive presentation on project updates. by Abobaker Al Hadrami, Managing Director (LCCSO)/O&M Manager, Marafeq Qatar.

Leila Noubough Nasr, Senior District Cooling Regulation Specialist, Department of Energy, presented an overview of the Abu Dhabi District Cooling Regulatory Framework, followed by a keynote on “Efficient Cooling Regulation” by James Grinnell, Head of the Office of Water, Electricity Regulation and Supervision. and Dubai Water (RSB). Next, ADC talked about AI in the District Cooling US Chiller Services International presentation.

The first day’s panel discussion focuses on “Improving the contribution of district cooling to sustainability”, where Ezzeddine Jradi, Chief Transformation and Business Excellence Officer, Emicool Fares Ahmad, General Manager, Emaar District Cooling and Steve Lemoine, Chief Executive Officer, Dalkia were panelists.

Kiran Dharwadkar, National Sales Manager, Armstrong Fluid Technology, spoke about Plant Intelligence and optimization opportunities in DCPs, Ahmed Nabil El-Kasaby, District Cooling Department Manager, Allied Consultants Limited spoke about Overcoming District Cooling Plant Energy Management Challenges, followed by a presentation by Taqeef Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Trading LLC and GRFN.

The first day of the forum ended with a closing remarks from the conference chair and a networking lunch with a tour of the exhibition.


About the MENA Conference on District Cooling Projects

District cooling has become an important energy-efficient utility sector preferred by governments in the Gulf countries – in which the UAE plays a leading role. The MENA region plays a key role in the fight against climate change and contributes to global efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

Cooling is an energy-intensive and non-stop activity in arid environments, and district cooling offers major energy savings. This advantage materializes in the new and future megalopolises of the region, where district cooling has become strongly established. Nearly 650 GWh of electricity savings were recorded from the use of district cooling in Dubai alone in 2020.

While District Cooling has proven to be the most energy-efficient cooling solution, there are several new methods and improvements to reduce its carbon footprint and reduce potable water usage, thus boosting sustainability.

The MENA region is experiencing rapid growth in cities and communities, increasing the number of upcoming district cooling projects, as well as the need to upgrade existing facilities with energy retrofits. Additionally, District Cooling operators are constantly looking to streamline their processes to facilitate efficient growth, profitability and progress. The district cooling market in the Middle East is expected to reach US$15 billion by 2027.

In light of these developments, Great Minds Event Management is organizing MENA District Cooling Projects, an exclusive forum bringing together all key district cooling players in the region to discuss crucial areas such as modernization, digital transformation, upcoming projects, the energy-water nexus and the latest in joint ventures and partnerships.

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