Comment: Keeping it cool

The Middle East district cooling industry is expanding rapidly but challenges remain

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COMMENT, MEP, DC Pro Engineering, District cooling, District cooling GCC, Dubai, Economy, Global district cooling market, Middle east and africa, Refrigeration

The value of the global district cooling market is estimated to reach $29bn by 2019, at a CAGR of 11.4% from 2014 to 2019, according to MarketsandMarkets.

The Middle East and Africa region is the fastest-growing market due to rapid growth in the real estate and commercial sectors which is marked by increasing demand for power and cooling during peak hours.

Industry analysts believe that the GCC has already reached more than four million refrigeration tonnes of installed capacity, accounting for 32% of the total capacity worldwide, a reflection of remarkable growth and huge potential for the district cooling sector over the next few years if well managed.

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The district cooling market is mainly driven by high efficiency of district cooling technology which results in enhanced reliability, less water and energy usage, reduction in environmental degradation, efficient use of energy and reduction in strain on a nation’s electricity grid.

The Knowledge Partner of this Special Report is UAE-based DC Pro Engineering, a leading engineering company with a 30-40% share of the Middle East district cooling market. Under the leadership of CEO George Berbari, the company is a champion for innovation in the industry and is pushing the boundaries with trigeneration.

“With our innovative design techniques, we save 70% of your fresh air energy, 30% of your air side fan energy, 50% of your lighting energy, 90% of your hot water energy, 30% of your water usage and more, and we do all that while reducing your construction cost,” says Berbari.

However, forward-thinking companies such as DC Pro Engineering are keen for the district cooling market in the region to reach maturity, as despite the remarkable growth forecasted, the market suffers from a lack of regulation.

A senior analyst at Strategy& told the Special Report: “As a result of an unregulated market, district cooling has not been used sufficiently where it is appropriate, and it has been used where it is inappropriate. As GCC countries continue to develop their economies, this misuse of an important technology will prove costly.”

Rather encouragingly, there are signs that efforts are being made by regional authorities to address this, with the likes of Abu Dhabi’s Regulation and Supervision Bureau and the Supreme Council of Energy in Dubai both announcing plans to introduce regulation soon.

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