Tabreed to allow foreign ownership

31 January 2003
An extraordinary general meeting (EGM) of Abu Dhabi-based National Central Cooling Company (Tabreed) has passed an amendment in the articles of association, allowing foreign individuals and institutions to own up to 49 per cent in the company.

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).

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