Etihad ESCO, a Dubai government-owned energy services company (ESCO), plans to implement up to 160 million dirhams ($43.56 million) worth of new projects this year including a major retrofit to be announced before the end of March, its chief executive told Zawya Projects.
The firm, a subsidiary of state utility Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), was set up in 2013 to develop Dubai's energy performance contracting market as part of a strategy to cut the emirate's energy demand by 30 percent by 2030.
In 2015, Etihad ESCO started work on a 64 million-dirham project to retrofit 157 buildings in Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), which was billed as the Middle East's largest energy retrofit scheme. Etihad ESCO has guaranteed water and energy cost savings of 132 million dirhams over the project's six-year period, with building refits to be carried out in the first year.
"JAFZA was the first and biggest, so the bar was very high at the beginning. But we are having [a project] bigger than that in 2017," Etihad ESCO CEO Ali Al Jassim told Zawya Projects in an interview.
"You will see a different number than JAFZA. It's not in terms of size of the client or size of the facilities, I am talking of the financing figures," he said, declining to provide further details.
Etihad ESCO funded the JAFZA project through Sharia-compliant financing from Dubai-based National Bonds. Repayment, including financing costs, will be met from the savings generated over the scheme's six-year timeframe.
Expanding into industrial and solar projects
Jassim said Etihad ESCO is planning to implement up to 160 million dirhams worth of projects this year and is diversifying beyond building retrofits into industrial retrofits and solar power projects.
He hopes to unveil the company's first industrial energy efficiency project by March-end.
"It [first phase of the project] will be announced in the first quarter hopefully. we are already talking about the second phase, which could be in fourth quarter 2017 or first quarter 2018," he said without elaborating further.
The firm also expects to soon sign a contract with another Dubai government entity for a solar rooftop scheme, for which design work has already started, Jassim said.
Separately, Etihad Solar - the firm's solar division - last month invited expressions of interest for its first solar project, which involves the development, operation and maintenance of the Middle East's largest residential solar rooftop project covering 640 homes in Dubai's Hatta area.
"Etihad Solar has already released its first Request for Proposals for Hatta residential solar project," Jassim added.
Etihad ESCO previously said it had retrofitted 2,178 buildings, saving 54 GWh of energy and $9.3 million in 2016.
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