DUBAI, UAE, 19 July 2022: Emirates Central Cooling Systems Corporation (Empower) said it has launched a massive development programme that will expand and improve the District Cooling infrastructure in the region. Making the announcement through a Press release, Empower said the programme will transfer the company’s efficiency rates to unprecedented levels and make the Business Bay area, in Dubai, the single largest and independent urban District Cooling project in the world, with a total capacity of 450,000 refrigeration tons (RT) through six cooling plants and 10 thermal energy storage tanks, including existing and upcoming plants and tanks. Empower added that it expects to complete all the phases of the project by the end of the year.
Ahmad Bin Shafar, CEO, Empower, said, “We continue our leadership in the District Cooling sector, and we have embarked the process of completing the largest District Cooling project of its kind in the world, which could be a significant jump in the global District Cooling business now and in the future.”
Empower said it attaches a high priority on the development of the District Cooling infrastructure in Business Bay, considering the economic, social, and urban significance of the area. A total of 4.3 square kilometres – more than twice the size of Downtown Dubai – is being developed as part of Business Bay by Dubai Holding. The leasable area in Business Bay covers an area of 7.2 square kilometres, which includes more than 300 towers of varying heights and multiple uses, including residential, commercial and others, whereas the Downtown Dubai project has approximately 126 towers.
Currently, Empower said, it operates four new-generation District Cooling plants in the Business Bay area, and it plans to interconnect the sub-surface distribution networks in a short span of time. It said it has initiated an interconnection project between the Business Bay Upper and Business Bay Lower District Cooling networks, which will increase the efficiency and redundancy of chilled water distribution in the area. Special techniques, Non-Destructive Road Crossing (NDRC) and Micro-Tunnelling have been used in the network interconnection project to pass the pipes without disrupting traffic, by digging approximately 220-metres-long tunnel under the Dubai Canal and another tunnel of 100 meters under the Marasi Drive Street, Empower said.
The pipes are crossing under Dubai canal and Marasi Drive Street at a depth of 26 metres, Empower said. This is one of the deepest District Cooling pipe-laying exercises in the entire Middle East, through using micro-tunnelling methodology, Empower said, adding that this is also one of the most challenging micro-tunnelling works it has undertaken, as the location is adjacent to a running live bridge, which has necessitated special safety measures and considerations during execution of works, in coordination with different government agencies, in general, and with the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), in particular, in addition to a monitoring mechanism for implementation processes round the clock.