Abu Dhabi’s National Central Cooling Company (Tabreed) has formed a partnership with the local Masdar Institute of Science and Technology for a research and development project, which aims to improve efficiency in district cooling plants.

The project, called the optimal chiller plant control phase 1, will involve creating ‘smart’ software that can independently manage district cooling plants. The technology is hoped to improve operational performance and reduce energy consumption.

According to Tabreed, air-conditioning accounts for an average of 40-50 per cent of all electrical energy consumption in Abu Dhabi, but this can rise to 70 per cent on hot summer days.

In December, Tabreed announced it was to convert a AED1.1bn ($308m) loan from Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Development Company into bonds. The loan was given to Tabreed as part of a debt restructuring agreed last year, along with a further AED1.7bn of convertible bonds due in 2019. Mubadala owns 15 per cent of the company, which provides centralised air-conditioning to residential and commercial properties.