What is PAL Cooling’s business strategy?
As one of the top players in the UAE’s district cooling industry, PAL Cooling provides its services to landmark residential, commercial and mixed-use developments. We offer reliable and quality services such as 24/7 chilled water for air conditioning from state-of-the-art central cooling plants.
We currently use the latest technologies in district cooling system with six state-of-the-art district cooling plants in the UAE. We also hold eight long-term agreements and have partnerships with leading master developers including Aldar Properties, Al Qudra, Al Tamouh Investment and Reem Developers.
Our strategy is to continue growing our business to provide energy-efficient technology solutions to our customers that will in turn enable them to reduce their carbon emissions and decrease energy consumption.
What are your views on the district cooling industry in the UAE, particularly in Abu Dhabi?
District cooling is vital in a hot climate like the UAE, and operates as a regulated utility to ensure all buildings have access to efficient cooling systems. The government has mandated that all new developments of scale must have district cooling, meaning continued growth and enhancements in the sector.
With the UAE’s 2050 net zero commitment, I expect to see an increase in district cooling projects as well as the demand to upgrade existing buildings through retrofits. District cooling systems are proven to be the most energy efficient way to cool buildings in arid environments – using about 50 % less energy than conventional air-cooled chillers. These systems are also incredibly reliable and have a lifespan of up to 40 years, making them ideal for large-scale buildings such as shopping malls, residential buildings and schools. It is beneficial for all stake holders as it improves the building space utilisation, reduces noise pollution, reduces refrigerant use and most importantly it reduces the cost of cooling and significantly optimises the country’s electrical high voltage infrastructure.
Can you tell us about PAL’s main milestones?
Since inception, we have signed eight concessions with a total contract capacity of over 600,000 refrigerated tons (RT). We have so far constructed almost 215,000 RT design capacity of plants with an installed capacity of 145,000 RT. The nature of the business is long term and exclusive concession-based, so the capital expenditure is secured for the next 30 to 35 years. We have also streamlined revenues to cover our investment and our margins.
What is your latest project?
We recently completed and commissioned the second district cooling plant for Shams Development, with a full design capacity of 57,000 RT and an installed capacity of 33,000 RT. The plant is equipped with an advanced control system allowing it to run fully automated, along with comprehensive reports and trends to ensure the highest efficiency is achieved.
The plant is strategically designed, achieving a record of 16.3 RT per square meter footprint density in terms of cooling capacity, including the Thermal Energy Storage (TES) Tank. In our chiller halls, we have used Trane chillers, utilising the latest technology with HFO (hydrofluoro-olefins) green refrigerant with zero Ozone Depletion Potential and ultra-low Global Warming Potential, which reduces the impact on the environment. The centrifugal chillers save almost 50% electricity compared to conventional air conditioning and reduce carbon footprint, contributing to meeting the UAE’s net zero 2050 target.
What is unique about this new project at Shams?
We were the first company in the region to invest in 7500 RT module using Trane chillers with HFO green refrigerant in 2018. Following successful R&D, this new plant in Shams is the second one we have built with HFO green refrigerant. With its first phase in operation, the new district cooling plant is expected to offset more than 12,000 metric ton of CO2 emissions yearly compared to conventional cooling.
CEO at PAL Cooling Holding