Tabreed’s shares, which are listed at the Dubai Financial Market (stock exchange), were on sale from 16 January. An individual or institution will be allowed to own a maximum of 20 per cent.

‘We are looking to expand our capital base to fund future growth,’ said a Tabreed official. ‘We are the third UAE institution to allow foreigners to own shares.’ The two others are Dubai-based real estate developer Emaar Properties and the local Oasis International Leasing Company (Al-Waha).

Established in 1998 with the assistance of Abu Dhabi-based UAE Offsets Group (UOG), Tabreed plans to increase its district cooling capacity to 170,000 tonnes by end-2004, from 75,0000 tonnes at present. Seven new plants are planned for construction.

High on the list are the Phoenix 1 and 2 projects at Al-Dhafra in Abu Dhabi emirate. An award is imminent for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract. Three companies submitted final prices by end-November following the completion of technical clarifications. Estimated to be worth AED 147 million ($40 million), the project involves the supply and installation of two refrigeration plants with total capacity of 22,200 tonnes (MEED 29:11:02).

Outside the UAE, Tabreed has set up a 49:51 joint venture in Qatar with Doha-based United Development Company. The new firm – Tabreed Qatar – has a paid-up capital of QR 30 million ($8 million). Similar ventures are also planned in Saudi Arabia and Oman (UAE, MEED Special Report, 23:11:01, page 36).