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Empower at DIFC ... supporting Dubai’s smart and sustainable city initiatives.

Empower at DIFC ... supporting Dubai’s smart and sustainable city initiatives.

Empower plans big infrastructure spend

February 2019

Emirates Central Cooling Systems Corporation (Empower) is set to invest heavily in infrastructure this year in a bid to further develop the emirate’s efficiency as one of the world’s leading business and entrepreneurial destinations.

 One of the world’s largest district cooling services providers, Empower says the move is aimed at supporting the directives of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai to make Dubai a smart and sustainable city.

The district cooling major had last year launched several district cooling plant projects in various parts of the UAE emirate. These include the world’s first unmanned and fully automated district cooling plant being built at an investment of Dh250 million ($68 million) with a total capacity of 50,000 refrigeration tonnes (RT) besides the plant in Dubailand with a total capacity of 39,000 RT and also a Dh169-million project to develop existing cooling plants in Barsha Heights with a total capacity of 31,250 RT.

The company has also completed the 62,000 RT expansion project, worth Dh60 million at Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

Empower has signed a contract to design two new district cooling plants in Business Bay, with a combined capacity of 90,000 RT, lifting the total production capacity to 225,000 RT in the Business Bay area.

It also began designing a 40,000 RT district cooling plant at Dubailand Residence Complex and awarded contracts worth Dh175 million to expand its pipeline network on Shaikh Zayed Road, Dubai, for the transfer of district cooling services from the plant located in Business Bay to serve Dubai Arena and Al Wasl Tower.

Apart from this, a separate pipe network will be extended to serve other towers, says Empower.

The Emirati group’s operational capacity reached 1.43 million RT by the end of 2018. This contributes to meeting the growing demand for district cooling services and developing modern cities.

District cooling is one of the six energy efficiency accelerators, within the framework of the United Nations Sustainable Energy For All (SEforAll), it adds.

Empower CEO Ahmad bin Shafar says: “The UAE focuses on diversifying its economy, as well as investing and developing vital sectors that generate direct economic returns, notably infrastructure, renewable energy and free zones, in addition to tourism and entertainment.”

“This is reflected in its economic position globally, especially due to its strategies, such as the UAE Vision 2021, which aims to achieve a sustainable environment and infrastructure by 2021 and to achieve the directives of our wise leadership and objectives of the UAE Centennial 2071. Dubai has set an investment approach for itself through the Dubai Plan 2021, a strategy that has borne fruit in record time,” he states, citing a Oxford Business Group report.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) too predicted a 4.1 per cent growth in the UAE in 2019 as a result of government spending on infrastructure and other investments as the country prepares to host Expo 2020.

The UAE has been ranked first in the region and 17th in the world in the latest Global Competitiveness Report 2017-2018 issued by the World Economic Forum (Davos), keeping its rank among the top 20 competitive economies in the world. Some 137 countries were ranked according to 12 pillars in 114 indicators. These pillars include institutions, infrastructure, education, health, innovation, efficiency of the labour market, among others.

“Empower supports the UAE government’s efforts to achieve comprehensive and sustainable development and seeks to protect the environment and balance economic and social development. The UAE Vision 2021 National Agenda seeks to achieve a sustainable environment by focusing on improving the quality of air, preserving water resources, increasing the contribution of clean energy and implementing green growth plans,” remarks Bin Shafar.

“Empower is committed to providing all sectors and residential, commercial and entertainment facilities in Dubai with district cooling services, according to the best global practices, both operational and environmental. This requires redoubled efforts and lasting development of our infrastructure, by expanding our scope of work and increasing our customer base,” he concludes.  

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