Thursday, 16 November 2023

UAE’s Tabreed completes district cooling pilot project using nanofluid tech



Good morning, wonderful people. It’s a quiet morning on the regional climate industry front as we skip into the weekend, but a good news bad news day for UAE’s Tabreed…

OUR TOP CLIMATE STORIES- The UAE’s National Cooling Company (Tabreed) announced the results of a pilot project it carried out over the summer exploring how integrating nanofluid technology in the district cooling sector can lead to energy savings, but also reported a net loss of AED 127.8 mn in 3Q 2023.

^^ We have the details on these stories and more in the news well, below.

THE BIG CLIMATE STORY OUTSIDE THE REGION- The US and China partner to boost global renewables production: In a breakthrough in bilateral relations, the US and China have pledged support for the G20’s declaration on tripling global renewables production by 2030, according to a joint statement. After three-days of talks, US climate envoy John Kerry and Chinese counterpart Xie Zhenhua committed to supporting “meaningful absolute power sector emission reductions” by accelerating coal, oil, and gas substitution. The world’s top two emitters agreed to count all non-carbon greenhouse gasses — including methane and nitrous oxide — in the update of their national climate strategies. The US and China — whose climate partnership is vital to reaching a consensus agreement at COP28 — had severed climate ties following US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s state visit to autonomous Taiwan, which China claims as its own.

The story made headlines in the international press: The New York Times | Reuters | BBC | The Financial Times | CNN | The Guardian

OVER AT COPLAND- Developing countries want fairer supply chains ahead of COP28: Amidst a global energy transition that relies heavily on Africa’s critical minerals, the African Union is calling for fairer cleantech supply chains that ensure benefits to the continent’s local economies, Energy Monitor writes. “We have great opportunities [in Africa], including an abundance of renewable energy resources and development minerals, but we are not seeing development on our continent as we would have wished it to be," said the African Union’s Commissioner for Energy and Infrastructure Amani Abou-Zeid.

An unequal supply chain: There is a clear mismatch between the economic benefits of the developing countries in ownership of mineral reserves, compared with the countries dominating the clean tech supply chains, the report added, citing comments made by CEO of India-based think tank Council on Energy, Environment and Water Arunabha Ghosh.

Cooperation is key: Abou-Zeid also mentioned the importance of facilitating technology transfers and improving investment attraction. Examples of such cooperation include the US working with local gov'ts in Congo and Zambia to manufacture batteries from the minerals extracted locally — rather than exporting them for manufacture — and Austria working with Tunisia to explore possibilities for powering the steel and chemical industries with green hydrogen.

WATCH THIS SPACE #1- Morocco’s Neo Motors plans IPO to fund new EV development: Moroccan carmaker Neo Motors is planning to IPO on the Casablanca Stock Exchange and use part of the funds raised for the production of EVs within three years, CEO Nassim Belkhayat told Bloomberg. The carmaker also plans to use a portion of the funds to ramp up its annual production of conventional vehicles to 15k units within three years — up from the current production capacity of 3k units. Neo is currently in talks with the African Development Bank on additional financing options, Belkhayat added.

Morocco is preparing big for EVs: Morocco-based pan-African investment fund Al Mada teamed up with Chinese battery giant CNGR Advanced Material Company to build a MAD 20 bn (USD 2 bn) industrial base for battery parts production and recycling in Morocco that will provide battery CAM materials to over 1 mn EVs per year. Global automaker Stellantis also announced it will manufacture a new battery-powered Fiat 600 compact SUV in Morocco last July. Moroccan mining lab Mincape also partnered with Canadian firm Elcora last month to increase supplies of manganese for the growing EV battery market.

WATCH THIS SPACE #2- Petrofac is eyeing more projects in our region: UK-based oilfield services provider Petrofac is bidding on a few projects in the MENA region, senior vice president Khaled Al-Shrouf told Zawya. Petrofac aims to focus on decarbonization in the region through a diverse range of activities including decommissioning aging plants, reducing the carbon intensity of existing assets, establishing lower intensity conventional hydrocarbon facilities, and investing in wind, hydrogen and carbon capture projects, Al-Shrouf added.

REMEMBER- Adnoc Gas, Adnoc’s integrated gas processing company, awarded a USD 615 mn engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract to Petrofac Emirates to build carbon capture infrastructure at the Habshan gas processing plant in Abu Dhabi last month with a capacity of 1.5 mn tons of CO2 annually.

WATCH THIS SPACE #3- Saudi Arabia is looking east at Pakistan’s mining sector: Saudi Arabia is reportedly looking to snap up stakes in Pakistan's Reko Diq gold and copper mine, Reuters reports, citing a source familiar with the matter. The copper-gold mine is 50% owned by Canadian mining firm Barrick Gold, which in August said it could invest as much as USD 10 bn to tap into the project’s full potential. Pakistan’s government and the state of Balochistan own the remainder of the mine’s shares.

There’s been whispers for months: Barrick said back in July it is open to selling shares to KSA and began negotiations with the kingdom earlier this month on the project. Emirati consulting firm RB&A has been reportedly tapped by the Pakistani government to serve as the international adviser and will complete a valuation of the state’s stake in the mining project by 25 December, Arab News reports, citing sources with knowledge of the matter.

WATCH THIS SPACE #4- Siemens Energy reviews wind unit after major losses: German energy giant Siemens Energy is reviewing its struggling wind turbine business after its subsidiary Siemens Gamesa caused EUR 4.6 bn in annual net losses for the group, Reuters reports. The company has secured a EUR 12 bn credit line from private banks — partly backed by the German government — alleviating investor concerns. Siemens does not plan to make any further provisions for faulty onshore turbines, but it will review its subsidiary's activities which includes the manufacturing of blades and turbines. The group is expected to provide further details before the end of the month.

This came as no surprise: Siemens Gamesa — a major player in Egypt’s wind energy sector — started finding a substantial increase in failure rates for the turbines' components in June. The company's factories and sales offices were expected to shut down after EUR 2.2 bn losses earlier this year.


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The UAE will host the Aviation and Alternative Fuels conference from Monday, 20 November to Friday, 24 November in Dubai. The event will bring together senior government officials and international organizations to assess progress in the development and deployment of sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs) and lower-carbon aviation fuel (LCAF) measured according to the targets outlined in the 2050 Vision for SAF, agreed upon at the last Aviation and Alternative Fuels conference in 2017.

The UAE will host the Abu Dhabi Finance Week (ADFW) from Monday, 27 November to Thursday, 30 November in Abu Dhabi. The event will gather government officials, banks, financial institutions, and VCs to delve into today’s economic, technological, and sustainability conversations.

Check out our full calendar on the web for a comprehensive listing of upcoming news events, national holidays and news triggers.


Scottish Enterprise commits GBP 9 mn in Xlinks’ Morocco-UK interconnection project

More support from Scotland for Xlinks interconnector: State-owned development agency Scottish Enterprise pledged GBP 9 mn in funds to help connect Morocco and Britain’s energy grids for UK-based renewables developer Xlinks’ GBP 18 bn Morocco-UK interconnection project, Morocco World News reports.

Where’s the money going? The funds will go towards repurposing the decommissioned Hunterston nuclear plant in the UK to help with the manufacturing of one of the four high-voltage direct current (HVDC) cables needed to connect the energy grids. The funding package will finance development of the GBP 1.4 bn subsea section of Xlinks, the news outlet writes, citing an earlier report by The Energyst.

The project already has funding from the UAE, UK, and Germany: Xlinks secured GBP 25 mn in funding from the Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (Taqa) and GBP 5 mn from UK-based energy supplier and renewables investor Octopus Energy for the project back in April. Earlier in November, German energy consultancy Conenergy invested an undisclosed sum in the project under a “financial and strategic partnership.”

When will the project be operational? The project should be fully operational at its complete 10.5 GW capacity in 2030. Securing funding for the project has seen much delay, raising the question of whether the company will stick to the initial timeline set last year.

REMEMBER- The interconnector project will lay 3.8k km high-voltage direct current (HVDC) subsea cable to eventually transport 3.6 GW of renewable energy — nearly 8% of the UK’s current requirements — from a 10.5 GW solar and wind farm in Morocco’s Guelmim-Oued Noun region to Britain’s power grid in Devon. The renewable plants will be supported by a 5 GW battery storage facility and is expected to be fully operational by 2030.


UAE’s Tabreed tests the world’s first in heat transfer technology in district cooling

Tabreed completes pilot project using heat transfer nanofluid tech: The UAE’s National Cooling Company (Tabreed) announced the results of a pilot project it carried out over the summer exploring how integrating nanofluid technology in the district cooling sector can lead to energy savings, according to a statement. The pilot project — which Tabreed says is the world’s first in heat transfer technologies — was carried out in partnership with Irish tech firm HT Materials Science (HTMS), which provided the UAE company its patented Maxwell nanofluids. Tabreed trialed the tech at one of its district cooling plants in Khalifah City, Abu Dhabi.

What are nanofluids and how do they impact district cooling? Nanofluids are liquids with high thermal conductivity that play a crucial role as coolants. The fluid improves the process of heat transferring in district cooling units to increase energy efficiency, according to research in Science Direct.

About HTMS’s Maxwell tech: The Maxwell nanoparticles are made up of aluminum oxide particles which are suspended in base fluids such as water to increase chilling capacity, the statement notes. Adding Maxwell’s fluid (at a 2% concentration of nanomaterials) to chilled water loops in the district cooling system, increases the cooling capacity of the system by 15%. This increase also enhances the efficiency of chillers, fan units, and pumps while minimizing power consumption and carbon output, Tabreed says.

The results: The Maxwell technology yielded a 13.6 % increase in the efficiency of the chillers at Tabreed’s facility, leading to an overall plant efficiency improvement of 9% against the same period last year, the statement notes. The UAE company — which is currently expanding globally — says applying Maxwell across its 89 district cooling plants would translate to some 200k tons of CO2 savings annually and could enhance overall energy efficiency by 9-15%. That energy efficiency improvements would amount to 335 GWh of energy savings.

Next steps: Tabreed and HTMS are currently studying further usage of Maxwell technology across the former’s district cooling assets, in a bid to push down energy consumption from the Gulf region’s cooling industry (which accounts for about 70% of the region’s power usage).

REMEMBER- MENA 💚 district cooling: District cooling — which the UN notes are 50% more energy efficient than conventional cooling alternatives — has taken off in MENA, with the UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia, among others, launching a number of projects. Conventional cooling systems contribute over 7% of global greenhouse gas emissions, with estimates indicating that emissions will double by 2050.



A big drop in net income for Tabreed in 3Q

Tabreed plummets into losses in 3Q: The UAE’s National Central Cooling Company (Tabreed) reported a net loss of AED 127.8 mn in 3Q 2023, down 176% y-o-y, according to a DFM filing (pdf). The company’s revenues increased by 10.5% y-o-y to AED 755 mn in 3Q despite the loss in net income.

Income down, revenues up: The company's q-o-q bottomline dropped 20% from AED 159.4 mn while its topline rose 20% from AED 604 mn last quarter.

The story behind the numbers: Tabreed attributed the increase in its y-t-d revenues to the steady growth of its consumption volumes — up 9% y-o-y. The increased demand is driven by both new clients and growing consumption from existing customers, the company explains in a separate statement. Tabreed also gave a forewarning in August that it expects a lower net income for the company by 3Q 2023 after it offloaded 50% of its ownership in subsidiary Tabreed Parks Investments.

What they said: “Tabreed continued to capitalize on its regional presence, growing rapidly and strategically across its core markets, domestically in the UAE and regionally across GCC and Asia,” Tabreed's CEO Khaled Al Qubaisi stated, adding that the company is on track to add 120k refrigeration tons by the end of 2024.


Mercedes debuts eight different EV models in Egypt

Benz EVs hit the Egyptian market: Mercedes-Benz has released a range of all-electric sedans and SUVs in Egypt, according to a statement (pdf). Our friends at Egypt’s Abou Ghaly Motors are unveiling the EV lineup at their Mercedes dealership on the Ismailia Desert Road tomorrow from 2-7pm CLT. Enterprise readers are welcome to attend.

What’s on offer: Mercedes’ EQS model will be available in three types: the sedan, the Mercedes-AMG sedan, and the SUV. The three categories of Mercedes’ EQE model — also sedan, Mercedes-AMG sedan, and SUV — will also be on the market. Other electric cars that will drop in Egypt’s market include the EQB and the EQA. Prices for the EVs range from EUR 65.9k through EUR 166.1k.

Where can you get them? The cars are available at five of Mercedes’ authorized distributors in Egypt — Abou Ghaly Motors, Alexandria National Automotive, Ezz Elarab Star, German Auto Service, and Star National Automotive. Each of the dealerships will have their own price list for the new cars.

The EQS sedan: The EQS sedan (dubbed EQS 450+) has a 108.4 KWh electric motor, 360 horsepower (hp), and 828 newton meters (Nm) of torque, Mercedes noted in its model catalog (pdf). The EV goes from 0-100 km/h in about 6.1 seconds and has a 210 km top speed with between 627-780 km of driving range when fully charged, according to the catalog. EV Database puts its range at some 635 km. Compatible with direct current (DC) fast chargers, the EV can recharge 80% of its battery capacity on a 31 minute charge.

The Mercedes-AMG EQS sedan: The EQS’ premium Mercedes-AMG version (dubbed EQS 53 4MATIC+) has a similar battery pack but boasts 658 of hp with 828 Nm of torque and has a 3.8 second 0-100 km/h acceleration rate with a 220 km top speed, the same catalog outlines. The EV has between 502-574 km of drive range and is compatible with DC fast chargers with the same charging time as its sedan equivalent.

The EQS SUV: The all-electric EQS SUV (dubbed the EQS 500 4MATIC) has a starting price tag of USD 105.5k. It boasts a 108.4 KWh electric motor giving the car 449 hp with 828 Nm of torque, the company notes (pdf) in its brochure (pdf). The EV goes from 0-100 km/h in about 5.2 seconds and has a 210 km top speed with between 513-616 km of driving range. The EV is similarly compatible with DC fast chargers with the same charging times as the EQS sedans.

The EQE sedan: The EQE sedan (dubbed EQE 350+) packs a 90.56 KWh battery pack with 292 hp and 565 Nm of torque, according to the brochure (pdf). The EV has a topspeed of 210 km, a 0-100 km sprint in 6.4 seconds, between 635-673 km of driving range on full charge, and the same charge time and compatibility as the EQS models.

The Mercedes-AMG EQE sedan: The EQE’s premium Mercedes-AMG version (dubbed EQE 43 4MATIC) packs the same battery pack and similar top speed as its base version the EQE 350+, but offers a higher hp of 476 with an impressive 858 Nm of torque that can get the car to go from 0-100 km in 4.2 seconds, the company notes in the brochure. This premium version has a driving range between 438-506 km and the same charge time and compatibility as the EQS models.

The EQE SUV: The SUV has a 90.5 KWh electric motor giving the car 408 hp with 858 Nm of torque, the company notes in a separate brochure (pdf). The EV goes from 0-100 kMh in about 4.9 seconds and has a 210 km top speed with between 484-596 km of driving range when fully charged. The EV also recharges 80% of battery capacity on a 31 minute DC fast charge.

EQA and EQB: The EQA and EQB SUVs pack a 66.5 KWh electric motor giving the EVs 292 hp with 520 Nm of torque, the company notes here (pdf), and here (pdf). The EVs accelerate from 0-100 km/h in six seconds and have a 160 km top speed. EQA has between 411-438 km of driving range on a full charge, and EQB has between 387-423 KM. Both EVs are also compatible with DC fast chargers and get a 80% recharge on a 32 minute plugin.



UAE’s Utico will start recycling desalination waste water: UAE's private utility provider Utico partnered with China's Shandong Tianyi Chemical Corporation on a JV to extract industrial chemicals from desalination plant’s discarded brine, according to a statement. The project — which has a AED 160 mn investment ticket — will be the first in the GCC to recycle seawater waste from desalination plants. The company will extract bromine and deeply processed hydrobromic acid from discarded concentrated seawater waste from Utico’s desalination plants and produce chemicals that can be used for industrial uses locally or be exported.


Saudi’s first hydrogen train gets a trial operating license: Saudi Transport and Logistics Minister Saleh bin Nasser Al Jasser and TGA President Rumaih bin Mohammed Al Rumaih have issued a trial operating license to Saudi Arabia Railways for the hydrogen train, SPA reports. The hydrogen train operates with zero carbon emissions, supports the sustainability of rail transportation, and falls in line with reducing carbon emissions by 25% by 2030, the news outlet reports.


Egypt’s Smart Solar is planning an African expansion: Egypt-based solar solutions company Smart Solar is looking to expand its operations into five new African markets next year, the company’s Chairman Osama Kamal told Al Mal in an interview. The company is eying investments in Sudan, Chad, Sierra Leone, Libya, and Tunisia, Kamal said. Smart Solar — which builds about 150 solar plants monthly for agriculture sector players — is currently developing 10 solar projects in Egypt’s New Valley in a bid to help sustainable irrigation in the country, Kamal said, without noting the combined generation capacity of the solar farms.


  • Oriental Weavers taps into clean energy: Egypt-based giant carpet and rug company Oriental Weavers has signed an agreement with Amarenco Solarize to supply one of its factories with solar energy. The project will have a 1.3 MWp capacity and reduce carbon emissions by 2.3k tons annually. (Zawya)
  • Wize drums up funding: UAE's greentech startup Wize has raised USD 16 mn in a pre-seed funding round to enhance last-mile delivery. The company’s electric motorcycles can help businesses reduce transportation costs by up to 30% monthly. (Statement)


Indonesia wants to add 31.6 GW from renewables by 2033: Indonesia’s state-owned electricity company PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) is targeting a 31.6 GW renewable power capacity expansion between 2024 and 2033, CEO Darmawan Prasodjo told Parliament yesterday, according to Reuters. The goal represents 75% of the total power capacity set to be added in that period, while the remaining 25% is expected to be generated from newly added natural gas plants. As part of the strategy, Persero plans to expand its transmission networks to connect the new renewables projects to the grids of the Java and Sulawesi provinces, the newswire notes.

Still some progress to be made in coal phaseout: The new strategy Prasodjo has announced does not seek an accelerated phase out of coal, Reuters notes. While coal currently makes up about 50% of the country’s power mix, Indonesia said it will formally announce plans to expedite its retirement of the high-emitting fuel at COP28.

PLN has some MENA partnerships: Masdar signed an agreement earlier this month with PLN to develop a 500 MW floating solar power park. KSA renewables company Acwa Power signed an MoU with PLN last year to develop a 4 GW battery storage facility and a hydroelectric-powered green hydrogen production facility, as well as two floating solar PV solar projects worth USD 105 mn.


  • ESG investments on the rise in the EU: German software company SAP surveyed over 1.7k European firms and found that nine out 10 companies either plan to maintain or increase ESG-linked investments through to 2026. Corporate sustainability strategies, product development, corporate image improvement, and revenue creation are all driving factors for the green finance commitments. (Reuters)



15-17 November (Wednesday-Friday): WETEX and Dubai Solar Show, Dubai, UAE.

15-18 November (Wednesday-Saturday): MENA Solar Conference, Dubai, UAE.

20-24 November (Monday-Friday) Aviation and Alternative Fuels conference, Dubai, UAE.

27-30 November (Monday-Thursday) Abu Dhabi Finance Week (ADFW), Abu Dhabi, UAE.

28-29 November (Tuesday-Wednesday): World Green Economy Summit (WGES), Dubai, UAE.

30 November – 12 December (Thursday-Tuesday): Conference of the Parties (COP 28), Dubai, UAE.


1-10 December (Friday-Saturday): Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week COP28 Special Edition, Dubai, UAE.

4 December (Monday): Saudi Green Initiative Forum, Dubai, UAE.

4 December (Monday): Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) summit, Dubai, UAE.

4-7 December (Monday-Thursday): International Conference on Global Warming, Ras Al Khaimah, UAE.

6-7 December (Wednesday-Thursday): Reuters’ Energy Transition MENA conference, Dubai, UAE.

7-8 December (Thursday-Friday): Future Investment Initiative (FII) Priority, Hong Kong.

8 December (Friday): Youth for Sustainability Forum (Y4S), Dubai, UAE.

12-14 December (Tuesday-Thursday): Green Hydrogen Summit Oman, Oman Convention and Exhibition Center, Muscat, Oman.

18-20 December (Monday-Wednesday): Saudi Arabia Smart Grid Conference, Hilton Riyadh Hotel & Residences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.


9-11 January (Tuesday-Thursday): Future Minerals Forum, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.


26-28 February (Monday-Wednesday): Management and Sustainability of Water Resources, Dubai, UAE.

MARCH 2024

4-6 March (Monday-Wednesday): International Conference on Sand and Dust Storms in the Arabian Peninsula, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

APRIL 2024

16-18 April (Tuesday-Thursday): World Future Energy Summit, Abu Dhabi, UAE.

23-25 April (Tuesday-Thursday): Connecting Green Hydrogen MENA, Dubai, UAE.

MAY 2024

19-21 May (Sunday-Tuesday): Saudi Energy Convention, Riyadh, KSA.

JUNE 2024

5 June (Wednesday): World Environment Day, Saudi Arabia.


10-12 October (Tuesday-Thursday): Autonomous E-Mobility Forum, Doha, Qatar.


2-13 December (Monday-Friday): Conference of the Parties (COP16) to the United Nation Convention to Combat Desertification, Riyadh, KSA.



Early 2024: The 2023 US Algeria Energy Forum, Washington DC, USA.

12-14 February (Monday-Wednesday): Sustainable Aviation Futures MENA Congress, Dubai, UAE.

End-2024: Emirati Masdar’s 500 MW wind farm in Uzbekistan to begin commercial operations.

QatarEnergy’s industrial cities solar power project will start electricity production.


International Union for Conservation of Nature World Conservation Congress, Abu Dhabi, UAE.

UAE to have over 1k EV charging stations installed.


UITP Global Public Transport Summit, Dubai, UAE.

Annual Meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, Bangkok, Thailand.

1Q 2026: QatarEnergy’s USD 1 bn blue ammonia plant to be completed.

End-2026: HSBC Bahrain to eliminate single-use PVC plastic cards.


MENA’s district cooling market is expected to reach USD 15 bn.


UAE’s Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) wants to provide AED 35 bn in green financing.

UAE targets 14 GW in clean energy capacity.

Tunisia targets 30% of renewables in its energy mix.

Qatar wants to generate USD 17 bn from its circular economy, creating 9k-19k jobs.

Morocco’s Xlinks solar and wind energy project to generate 10.5 GW of energy.


Qatar to capture up to 11 mn tons of CO2 annually.


Qatar’s Public Works Authority’s (Ashghal) USD 1.5 bn sewage treatment facility to reach 600k cm/d capacity.


Tunisia’s carbon neutrality target.


Nigeria aims to achieve its net-zero emissions target.

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