By Andy Sambidge
Abu Dhabi-based firm to develop district cooling project in the holy city of Makkah
UAE-based National Central Cooling Company, also known as Tabreed, has announced an additional investment into its Saudi Arabian affiliate, Saudi Tabreed, to develop an AED549m ($149m) district cooling project in the holy city of Makkah.
The Abu Dhabi-based district cooling utility company said the project will serve the multi-billion dollar Jabal Omar development.
The approved investment relates to the development and construction of the first two phases of the district cooling plant, the company said in a statement.
Saudi Tabreed, which is 25 percent owned by Tabreed, is partnering with the Saudi-based Jabal Omar Development Company to develop the 55,000 RT project.
The 20-year Build-Own-Operate-Transfer agreement will be completed by a special purpose vehicle named Central District Cooling Company which is 60 percent owned by Saudi Tabreed and 40 percent owned by JODC.
Waleed Al Mokarrab Al Muhairi, chairman of Tabreed, said: "We are delighted to be investing alongside our partners at Saudi Tabreed in such a landmark development in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
"This project marks a major step forward for Tabreed in Saudi Arabia as it underscores the significance we attribute to this market given the growth opportunities present here as a result of the nation's commitment to utilizing energy efficient solutions to meet its increasing cooling demands," he added.
The first two phases of the district cooling project in the Jabal Omar development are expected to be completed in approximately 18 months.
Jasim Thabet, CEO of Tabreed, added: "The Jabal Omar project is one of the key infrastructure projects in Saudi Arabia and is intended to cater to Mecca's expanding population.
"As cities in the GCC continue to grow, district cooling's energy and cost efficiencies have proven to be the ideal solution for densely populated areas that have a high demand for year-round air conditioning," he added.
In addition to the Jabal Omar development, Saudi Tabreed is also currently involved in two other major projects in Saudi Arabia.
The company is in the final stages of completing the construction of a district cooling plant for ARAMCO and is also completing the second phase of a district cooling plant in the King Abdullah Financial District.
Tabreed, which is partly owned by Abu Dhabi state fund Mubadala, this month reported a 30 percent rise in quarterly profits fueled by higher revenues from its core chilled water business.
Tabreed provides cooling systems to residential and commercial properties in the Gulf region, including Dubai's metro network.