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Ice Cool

by Adam Lane on Jan 6, 2013

Jasim Thabet, Tabreed CEO.
Jasim Thabet, Tabreed CEO.

Tabreed’s new CEO Jasim Thabet talks with Adam Lane about his firm’s extensive district cooling reach

A large map of the UAE hangs on the wall of Jasim Thabet’s office in Abu Dhabi, marking the locations of 59 of Tabreed’s district cooling plants across the country. As he animatedly explains, this comfortably makes his company one of the biggest district cooling firms in the world.

“We’re a regional company, not a small, local company in Abu Dhabi. We have operations in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, Oman and Qatar. In terms of refrigerated tonnage delivered to our clients, we have some impressive figures – even compared with other cooling companies. Regionally our connected capacity is over 745,000 RT, and in the UAE alone we have over 587,000 RT.”

Those hugely impressive figures account for some of the most iconic developments in the region. In the UAE alone, Tabreed is responsible for sites including all of the cooling on the red and green lines on the Dubai Metro, Etihad Towers in Abu Dhabi, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. A massive cooling plant in Dubai provides cooling to a range of buildings and hotels along Sheikh Zayed Road, whilst the firm provides cooling for shopping developments including Abu Dhabi’s Khalidiya Mall, Central Market and Marina Mall.

“Tabreed is the partner of choice when it comes to the main developers in Abu Dhabi – firms like Aldar and Sorouh for example. And if you go to Yas Island [in Abu Dhabi], you see that all primary projects are cooled by Tabreed.

Everything from Ferrari World, the Yas Marina Circuit and all of the hotels. Essentially, the whole island is district cooled – it’s a huge centralised cooling plant with a 50,000 RT capacity which cools everything. Tabreed is a one-stop solution there.”

In addition, the firm holds long-term government contracts, making it, for example, the main district cooling supplier for the UAE’s Armed Forces, and the go-to firm for universities’ cooling requirements.

“We’ve completed expanding the cooling plant at UAE University in Al Ain, which has increased capacity to over 18,000 RT, and we’re now looking at expanding other plants. We’re also exploring new projects with the government entities in the UAE, as well as with the real estate developers.”

Outside the UAE, the firm has a further six plants, including the Integrated District Cooling Plant on Qatar’s Pearl development, the world’s largest cooling plant. The facility has a capacity of a massive 130,000 RT and is run by Tabreed’s joint venture firm Qatar Cool.

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