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CITYSCAPE: Empower chief urges region's real estate developers to embrace environmentally friendly and cost-effective cooling methods

October 10th, 2013

District cooling is an ideal solution for large-scale developments, cutting operating costs and reducing carbon footprints, according to Ahmed Bin Shafar

 As the Middle East’s biggest real estate gathering wraps up in Dubai today, the chief of the region’s top district cooling provider has urged real estate developers to implement environmentally friendly solutions across their project portfolios.

Ahmad Bin Shafar, CEO of Empower (Emirates Central Cooling Systems Corporation), emphasised the energy savings that district cooling can provide developers.

Bin Shafar said: “Empower seeks to accelerate the pace of replacing traditional systems with new environmentally friendly technologies, which will conserve precious energy and water resources and decrease our carbon footprint. In a typical residential unit, for instance, district cooling systems can cut energy usage by 40 to 45 per cent, compared to traditional climate control systems.”

District cooling, Bin Shafar explained, provides energy-efficient cooling by centralising cool-air production for large-scale real estate master developments, instead of installing outmoded individual units in each building. The centralised system results in lower capital and operating costs, thus reducing air-conditioning set-up and energy costs per building.

“Empower’s district cooling systems provide effective and efficient means of air conditioning,” Bin Shafar added.  “Water is cooled in central plants and distributed through a network of piping systems to individual customer buildings.”

Earlier this year, Empower announced that the company has broken ground on a new district cooling plant in DUbai’s Business Bay. The new cooling plant, which is the first district cooling plant to implement the Dubai Executive Council’s guidelines on environmental sustainability, will provide residential and commercial towers with 50,000 refrigeration tonnes (RT) of cooling, with an output of 10,000 RT through thermal storage.

An ideal environmentally friendly cooling solution, the new plant will only require 0.9 KW to produce one RT of cooling, compared to traditional non-district cooling systems that require up to 1.8 KW of energy every hour.

In addition to Business Bay, Empower currently operates district cooling services at several prominent developments in Dubai, including Dubai International Finance Centre, Dubai Healthcare City and Jumeirah Beach Residence.

Empower is a joint venture between DEWA and Dubai Technology & Media Free Zone.

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