Sunday, February 08, 2009

Tabreed Oman Cools Knowledge Oasis Muscat

Climate change is the greatest environmental challenge that we face and the scientific consensus and growing political will to address the issue is slowly but surely changing the global context in which business operates. Moving to a low carbon economy not only addresses an environmental imperative, it makes business sense.

In a response to, and part of this change, Knowledge Oasis Muscat (KOM) has signed a contract with Tabreed Oman, the Middle East’s award-winning district cooling pioneer to provide district cooling for three buildings on the Rusayl-based technology park.

According to Eng. Musallam Al Hadifi, Business Development Manager, Tabreed Oman: “We’ve been at the forefront of the cooling industry for almost a decade and in 2007 alone provided cooling services to 473 buildings covering a total of 149.9 million square feet across the GCC as well as the wider Middle East. Signing today’s contract with KOM is a landmark event for us. We’re delighted to be working alongside a partner who understands the cutting edge technology Tabreed Oman offers as well as the considerable environmental benefits this brings to the Park’s many hi-tech tenants and the Rusayl area.”

Over the past five years, District cooling systems distribute chilled water or other media to multiple buildings for air-conditioning and significantly reduce harmful carbon dioxide emissions - otherwise known as greenhouse gases. It has been estimated that for every 10,000 tonnes of district cooling provided the amount of carbon dioxide emissions are reduced by 14,700 tonnes annually.

Global energy experts suggest that 75% of the energy used across the Gulf is for cooling purposes. By using district cooling, KOM expects to reduce its electricity bill by 30%. “Tabreed Oman’s cooling solutions will help us reduce both our capital investment and operating expenses,” says Hilal Al Ahsani, PEIE's CEO. By using district cooling, KOM expects to reduce substantially the electrical energy used by its tenants. “Tabreed Oman’s providing our tenants with the latest green technology – one that puts the environment first,” smiles Al Ahsani.

Mohammed Al Maskari, Director General, KOM said: “Our partnership with Tabreed Oman emphasizes the importance we place on providing a more efficient infrastructure network to our growing number of tenants on KOM. We’re delighted to be able to offer technology that has such strong environmental credentials. Indeed, I firmly believe today’s signing is a very important step and one that will help businesses around Oman focus on environmental issues.”

District cooling, suggests Al Hadifi, can be a key strategy for accomplishing an economical and environmentally sound phasing out of harmful refrigerants. “Our district cooling systems use ozone-friendly refrigerants and are better able to control the emissions of whatever refrigerant is used. It’s marvelous to see a government-run technology park embrace this ground breaking technology,” said Al Hadifi.

“I understand that some commentators have used the deteriorating global economic circumstances to argue that tackling climate change through the transition to a low-carbon economy is a luxury item; saying it’s too expensive and that it could damage national competitiveness. This is an understandable view but, in my opinion, it’s short-sighted,” says Al Maskari.

According to the KOM Director General the global economy and climate change are linked and the current economic slowdown represents a unique opportunity to use public sector investment to reinvigorate the economy and build the low-carbon infrastructure we need for our long-term prosperity. Signing Monday’s contract with Tabreed Oman underlines KOM’s commitment to developing and supporting a low carbon economy.

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