Emirates Central Cooling Systems Corporation (Empower), one of the world’s largest district cooling services providers, has unveiled expansion plans that will see its district cooling (DC) transmission pipeline cross the 225-km mark in Dubai, UAE, by the end of 2015.
Empower says its pipeline network is among the most efficient globally, because the company has strategic tie-ups with some of the world’s major suppliers of pre-insulated pipes, a critical element in district cooling systems. One such supplier is the Jebel-Ali-based Elips, in which Empower holds major share.
“In 2010, Empower found an alternative solution to importing supplies of pre-insulated pipes through Elips, which manufactures pipes of similar high standards,” a spokesman for the company comments.
“Every time we launch a district cooling service in a new area of Dubai, we go the extra mile to raise the standards of service,” remarks Ahmad Bin Shafar, CEO of Empower.
Shafar continues: “Empower’s district cooling systems provide effective and efficient means of air-conditioning. Water is cooled in central plants and distributed through a network of piping systems to individual customers in different buildings. We have expanded the pipeline network proportionate to the growth in areas we cover and opened new cooling plants. We have been successful in commissioning district cooling projects on schedule, because we have control over the supply of the all-important pre-insulated pipes.”
Among other developments, Empower achieved savings of 194 million gallons of fresh water in 2014 – enough to fill 354 Olympic swimming pools. The achievement is in line with the directive of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, stipulating that district cooling companies must opt for sea water, grey water or treated sewage effluents (TSE) as opposed to desalinated water, and as part of preserving the water resources in Dubai and synchronising with the National Strategy for Sustainable Development.
The reduced usage of water was the result of using TSE water resources in cooling operations. Moreover, as a proactive step, Empower switched to TSE water in all other older plants as part of the strategic plan of Dubai to save fresh water, according to the company.
Bin Shafar says the achievement demonstrates the sustainability of district cooling, synchronising with the large initiatives launched by the government of Dubai to reduce overall water consumption. The company’s advanced technologies contributed to save its overall consumption of potable water through the use of treated water.
Empower first began transition from fresh water to treated water in four plants – Dubai Healthcare City, Jumeirah Beach Residence, Dubai International Financial Centre and Business Bay – leading to significant water saving. The effort won the first Innovation Award by International District Energy Association (IDEA), in 2013. Empower also succeeded in implementing a new system to restore the cooling water used in the refinery for reuse.