The local Empower has been awarded a contract to provide district cooling infrastructure and services for the new Design District (d3) development, which will be located close to the Business Bay area of Dubai.

Empower will provide 120,000 refrigeration tonnes (RT) of district cooling services for the Design District scheme, which is being developed by the local Tecom Investments. The total value of the district cooling project is estimated to be AED750m ($204m), and will be financed through Empower’s revenues.

The district cooling network for the Design District will be built in several phases, with construction of the first phase scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of this year. The first phase will have a capacity of 10,000 RT.

Empower will build two plants to provide district cooling for the Design District project. The plants will utilise thermal storage and treated sewage effluent (TSE) to make the scheme more sustainable.

The Design District is planned to include art, fashion and luxury retail developments.

In January, Empower acquired Dubai-based Palm Utilities and Palm District Cooling in an acquisition deal worth $500m.

The funding features a combination of internal accruals, equity and debt financing. The acquisition of Palm District Cooling is the latest asset to be sold off by parent company Istithmar, which is a subsidiary of the indebted Dubai World conglomerate.

Empower is expecting the deal to increase its regional market share to approximately 70 per cent.

District cooling is promoted as a more energy-efficient, environmentally friendly way of providing air-conditioning to homes and offices. Chilled water is used to fuel air-conditioning systems, rather than electricity.