Published: May, 2019

Key Highlights:

  • The global district cooling market was valued at around US$ 20 Mn in 2018 and is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of more than 7% during the forecast period
  • The commercial end-user segment accounted for major share of the district cooling market, increasing utilization of these systems in commercial sectors such as hotels, malls, and offices
  • Middle East & Africa is anticipated to be one of the high growth regions of the district cooling market, due to hot climatic conditions in the sub-region with temperatures ranging between 35°C and 55°C 
district cooling market 2

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Key Drivers of District Cooling Market:

  • Human activities have contributed substantially to climate change through the addition of CO2 and other heat-trapping gases to the atmosphere. Clearing of the land for agriculture, industry, and other human activities has increased the concentration of greenhouse gases. One of the most immediate and obvious effects of global warming is the increase in temperatures around the world. This, in turn, is anticipated to boost the demand for district cooling systems during the forecast period.
  • Significant expansion in the real estate sector, rise in urbanization, and growth in population in developing countries such as China, Brazil, Mexico, and India have increased the consumption of building energy for heating and cooling needs. High rise buildings in the Middle East and in mature countries in Europe and North America are decreasing natural ventilation. These are a few factors that increase the need for mechanical means of air conditioning and therefore energy consumption.
  • Significant rise in primary energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and peak electricity demand drives the requirement for district cooling services as a sustainable energy solution. This enables local communities to gain economic and environmental benefits of a mature technology. 

Commercial End-User Segment to Gain Momentum:

  • In terms of end-user, the commercial segment constituted major share of the global district cooling market in 2018. Variations in climatic conditions such as high temperature coupled with costly glass exteriors in airports, hotels, colleges, malls, and offices result in extremely high indoor temperatures. Utilization of district cooling systems can provide a sustainable solution, which is expected to meet the high demand for refrigeration.
  • The commercial segment is estimated to expand at a rapid pace during the forecast period. District cooling systems are up to 40% more efficient than individual air conditioning units. They offer highly effective solutions for commercial facilities located in densely populated areas, as they help free up space in commercial buildings. 

North America Dominates Global District Cooling Market:

  • North America and Middle East & Africa were key regions of the district cooling market in 2018. North America dominated the global district cooling market mainly due to increasing focus on the adoption of renewables and efficient usage of energy resources
  • The market in Middle East & Africa is anticipated to expand at a rapid pace during the forecast period. Air conditioning typically accounts for 60% to 70% of energy consumption during the peak summer months in the UAE. District cooling utilizes approximately 50% less energy. Thus, it helps lower cost for owners and governments alike.
  • District cooling also protects the environment by decreasing carbon dioxide emissions. Emirates Central Cooling Systems Corporation (EMPOWER), Emirates District Cooling (Emicool), Marafeq Qatar, and Tabreed are the major district cooling service providers in Middle East & Africa. EMPOWER has district cooling capacity of more than 1.43 million RT. It accounts for around 70% market share in the UAE. 

Global District Cooling Market – Key Developments:

  • In February 2019, Tabreed, the leading UAE-based international cooling systems provider, which is 40% owned by ENGIE, signed a 30-year concession agreement to build, own, and operate a district cooling system (DC) in Amaravati, the capital of Andhra Pradesh, India
  • In September 2018, Keppel DHCS Pte Ltd (Keppel DHCS), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Keppel Corporation Limited, was awarded a contract for the initial phase of a tender by JTC Corporation (JTC) to design a new district cooling system (DCS) plant in the upcoming Jurong Innovation District (JID)
  • On June 19, 2017, ENGIE acquired 40% stake in National Central Cooling Company PJSC (Tabreed) from Mubadala Investment Company (Mubadala), the Abu Dhabi-based strategic investment company. ENGIE is expected to become Tabreed’s key shareholder, along with Mubadala, that would retain 42% stake. Through the partnership with Mubadala, Tabreed will become one of ENGIE’s main regional development platforms, besides having existing operations in Western Europe, North America (where ENGIE was recently awarded a 50-year concession to operate and optimize Ohio State University’s utility system), and Southeast Asia. Engie expects to expand at a rapid pace through Tabreed in new emerging markets such as India, Egypt, and Turkey.
  • In July 2016, the company signed an agreement with Nakheel Properties, a real estate developer based in Dubai, to provide district cooling services to the Jumeirah village circle and village triangle, with plans to invest US$ 490.0 Mn in the project and build six cooling plants with a capacity of 260,000 RT

Competition Landscape

  • The global district cooling market is anticipated to be consolidated with few players accounting for large share of the market.
  • High capital investment coupled with high degree of technical knowledge required for district cooling plant is anticipated to reduce the threat of new players in the market.
  • The top three players operating in the market accounted for a combined market share of around 71% in 2018. These players are Emirates Central Cooling Systems Corporation (EMPOWER), Engie, and Veolia.
  • Other players operating in the market include ADC Energy Systems LLC, Emirates District Cooling LLC, Stellar Energy, Keppel Corporation Limited, Logstor A/S, Shinryo Corporation, Dalkia, Singapore Power (SP) Group, and Alfa Laval AB  

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