Empower transforms Business Bay into the world’s largest urban district cooling project.


Dubai, UAE: Emirates Central Cooling Systems Corporation (Empower), the world’s largest district cooling provider based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, has launched a massive development program that will expand and improve the district cooling infrastructure in the region. The project transfers the company’s efficiency rates to unprecedented levels and makes 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 6 cooling plants and 10 thermal energy storage tanks including the existing and upcoming plants and tanks. It is expected to complete all the phases of the development project by end of this year. 

Empower’s CEO, Ahmad Bin Shafar, stated: “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 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 kilometers—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 kilometers, which includes more than 300 towers of varying heights and multiple uses, including residential, commercial, and others, while the Downtown Dubai project, which has approximately 126 towers.

Currently, Empower operates four new generation district cooling plants in the Business Bay area, and it plans to interconnect the underground distribution networks in a short span of time. The interconnection project that Empower has initiated now between the Business Bay Upper and Business Bay Lower district cooling networks will increase the efficiency and redundancy of chilled water distribution in the area. Special techniques, Non-Destructive Road Crossing (NDRC) and Micro-Tunneling have been used in the network interconnection project to pass the pipes without disrupting traffic, by digging approximately 220 meters long tunnel under the Dubai Canal and another tunnel of 100 meters under the Marasi Drive Street. The pipes are crossing under Dubai canal and Marasi Drive Street in a depth of 26 meters. This is one of the deepest district cooling pipes laying in the whole Middle East by using micro-tunneling methodology that Empower handles with high professionalism. This is also one of the most challenging micro-tunneling work taken by the company as the location is adjacent to the running live bridge and hence, special safety measures and considerations taken during execution of works in coordination with different government agencies in general and particularly with the Roads and Transport Authority, in addition to a monitoring mechanism for implementation processes round the clock.