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District Cooling is poised for growth in the GCC region

Industry insider points to strong government support as one of the key reasons

| | Jun 5, 2017 | 2:23 pm
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Saad Ali, General Manager, SPX Cooling Technologies, said he is optimistic about Dubai meeting its goal of increasing the penetration of District Cooling to 40% by 2030. He added that he believes the positive trend of growth will continue throughout the GCC region, as a result of the strategic visions put forward by the leadership. “From a holistic point of view, if you see the whole of the GCC region, they have Vision 2020, 2030, even 2050, which is great,” he said. “Most of them will reach that vision, depending on conditions that may be outside their power. Saudi Arabia will most probably reach it. Dubai, definitely, and the UAE as a whole has a fantastic vision. Even in our company, I have a vision for the business. It doesn’t mean you will get there at the time, but as long as you’re working towards it, I think that’s a great strategy. As long as you have the plan and resources, that’s good. I don’t look at the date, I look at what people are doing to get there, some may even reach [their goal] before 2030.”

In terms of bottlenecks, Ali admitted that though economic factors may likely have a definitive impact on the countries’ ability to meet their objectives, the issue of negative perception towards District Cooling can be addressed by stronger solidarity within the industry with regard to the benefit that it offers the public. “There should be some incentive that has to be driven by the government, and someone has to be accountable for measuring that benefit,” he said. “There has to be an entity measuring that benefit, like a dedicated committee or body funded by the government.”

Ali went on to recommend that District Cooling providers from across the GCC region can join forces to come up with an agenda that could help advance the penetration of the industry.

Ali also highlighted the important role that maintenance plays in ensuring that cooling towers are operating in the best manner possible to prevent issues such as legionella from occurring. “There are lot of innovations in cooling towers, so you don’t hear many of the same problems,” he said. “It’s about the complete package. Plus how our unit works, it does not allow legionella to develop. The drift eliminator doesn’t allow that to go into the system. If you look at our system, it’s at the end or at the beginning of a cooling system. So, there is very minimal chance, but there are technologies available still such as UV lamps and chemicals. It is also very important for the client to invest in and keep the maintenance schedule.”

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