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‘Infrastructure, legislation would enable building-retrofit business’

Funding is crucial when investing in a retrofit project

| | Jan 30, 2017 | 7:33 pm
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Dubai, UAE: The Dubai government in 2013 had launched a programme to retrofit 30,000 buildings by 2030, with the aim of achieving 30% energy savings. Since the announcement, several industry experts have come in support of the initiative. Identifying the factors that would help achieve this target, Azzam Messaykeh, CEO of Faisal Jassim Group, says that there is a need to lay down infrastructure and legislation to enable building-retrofit business.

Another driver for growth, according to him, is banking. He says: “As an owner of an asset, when I look at retrofit and replacement, I will be looking at an ROI of 1-2 years. But when we start talking of 5-6 years, there is no enabler for them, unless there is a bank that supports the drive and agrees to be the financial vehicle to enable the business. This has happened in the United States, where they have been able to enable the ESCOs. They have banks and companies that are certified to provide energy solutions, and based on their commitment they will finance. I believe this is very critical, otherwise we will be talking of low-hanging fruit, like switching off the chiller during night-time, but no one talks of replacing the chiller, which has an ROI of 5-6 years, but which is essential.”

Although some have expressed over finance, Stephan Le Gentil, CEO of Etihad ESCO, says that government investors, such as the National Bonds, have offered funding for government projects.

Read full story here: ‘We have to give priority to local production’


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