Suliman Al Khliwi, Managing Director, Saudi Tabreed
How district cooling can contribute to energy and cost efficiency in the GCC and beyond
In this Global Platform video, Suliman Al Khliwi, Managing Director, Saudi Tabreed, discusses how district cooling can offer numerous advantages over conventional cooling in the GCC. District cooling is more cost efficient than conventional cooling, with the ability to serve major projects under development in the region. It is also more energy efficient and has fewer negative environmental impacts, helping the region to meet the goals of the Middle East Green Initiative.
The pandemic created instability in the markets and created a lot of financial issues globally for infrastructure projects.
We see a massive push and interest from governments in cooling technologies.
Reduced spending on cooling has brought massive savings in terms of electricity consumption when compared to conventional cooling.
District cooling is a tool for economies to minimise the cost so it has a positive impact on private sector participation.
I believe in 2023 this participation will increase. For the private sector, in Saudi Arabic specifically, we are working to provide district cooling services for projects such as King Salman Park and the Red Sea.
The idea is to improve the efficiency of these cities and to bring more sustainable and environmentally friendly solutions to these projects.
Saudi Arabia is one of the largest producers of electricity in the world, and the majority of it is being produced through the consumption of fossil fuels.
To put this into perspective in numbers, Saudi Arabia consumes 70% of the electricity it generates for cooling purposes.
District cooling reduces electricity consumption by roughly 50% when compared to a combination of cooling. Hence, substantially reducing fossil fuel usage and enabling Saudi Arabia and the wider Middle East region in general to achieve its green initiative. This reduces carbon emissions.
We are working internally to calculate all the requirements project by projectand to make sure that we are within the limits.
We are also introducing renewable energies to our projects.
All of these things will enhance ESG capability, which will reflect on the country itself.
The core success of public-private participation is the bankability of the acquisition framework.
Project financing structure allows all parties to structure the deal in a proper, bankable manner.
In the last 17 years, Saudi Tabreed has built a very strong relationship with lenders internationally and locally.
The idea is to improve district cooling in Saudi Arabia so the region accepts the benefits that district cooling brings to the industry and to countries.
However, one of the major barriers is regulating the sector.
Private sector participation regulation is very important, specifically within the residential usage area, which we are pushing the stakeholders for.
Second, the district cooling risk should be made in a similar way to other infrastructure assets where private sector participation is extensive to ensure that district cooling developers and the lending communities.
Since we are pioneers in this industry, this can be transferred outside the region itself.
We can go to Africa, we can go to other countries to transfer knowledge and know how.
This reduces carbon emissions.
We have the technology, we have the capability, so we are ready for this.