Omar Al Fardan, Chairman, Qatar Cool

25 Feb 09:13 AM

Sector : Real Estate Country : Qatar

A decade of keeping it cool

 

In November 2003, Qatar's United Development Company (UDC) and the UAE's National District Cooling Company (Tabreed) along with some Qatari investors founded the Qatar District Cooling Company as a joint venture to provide district-cooling services. Qatar Cool has become a leading provider in Qatar, currently owning and operating three cooling plants covering the West Bay and The Pearl-Qatar districts. B'Here asked Chairman Omar AlFardan about its decade of success and what are the plans for the future
 
Omar Hussain Alfardan is the the Chairman of Qatar Cool and President and CEO of Alfardan Group, one of the most successful privately owned family businesses in Qatar and across the region, as well as a filament of prestigious positions in Qatar.

 

A better way to cool your environment’ What is the idea behind this motto? Define Qatar Cool.   

The motto or slogan simply translates to our objective, which is to keep Qatar reliably and cost effectively cool, whilst minimizing the impact on the environment.

At Qatar Cool we believe in providing the best of both worlds. We believe that tradition can work with technology and that abundant cooling doesn't have to abuse the environment. With that in mind, we spare no effort to serve our customers with environmentally friendly cooling solutions.

Last year, you celebrated your 10th anniversary. What balance can we make of this first decade? Expectations met? 

Celebrating our tenth anniversary marked a significant achievement with Qatar Cool; it shows our strength and fortitude, not only for our business but for our customers and the state of Qatar.

Qatar Cool has been transformed over the last ten years, from a new company entering the district cooling industry, to a well-established, awarded and internationally recognized success.  There is a huge demand for Qatar Cool’s amenities in the region, with major projects, such as the Rail, seeking our reliable and sustainable services.

In the last decade, Qatar Cool has established three district cooling plants, with a combined capacity of over 197,000 Tons of Refrigeration (TR).  Two of the plants supply district cooling to over 50% of the existing towers in the West Bay Area, where the third plant, the largest district cooling plant in the world, serves the 41 million square feet man-made island ‘The Pearl-Qatar’.

What would you like to highlight of 2013 and the first half of 2014?

Qatar Cool have had many achievements in 2013 and 2014, we have signed the construction contract of our forth plant, which is due to be will start operational in 2016, located in the West Bay Area, to support the continuous demand for district cooling, and the 2030 Qatar Vision.

Qatar Cool was recognized, in 2013, for our innovative practices by the International District Energy Association (IDEA), The Award of Excellence for municipal scheme serving more than 10,000 citizens, at the 3rd Global Energy Climate Awards, and The best District Cooling Provider at the Climate Control Middle East award ceremony.

In 2014 we have received the International Safety Award by The British Safety Council, the Industrial Building Conservation Award from Tarsheed Kahramaa, the best district cooling provider of the year and the best marketing initiative of the year both from the Climate Control Awards in November 2014, and more significantly the System of the Year award from the International District Energy Association (IDEA), this is the highest honor to receive from such a prominent association, whom are at the top of their industry.

Can you share with us figures on the company’s growth over the last years and current capacity and towers served, and growth planned for 2014 & 2015?

To date our West Bay plants have a combined connected load of just over 74,547 (TR), whereas The Pearl-Qatar plant has a connected load of over 80,900 (TR).

You can see from the chart below that our capacity increase has steadily enlarged since inauguration of our plants in both districts.

Due to its energy efficiency, reduction in carbon emissions, ease of operation and maintenance, reduction in electric distribution and environmental benefits, the continued implementation of district cooling systems in Qatar will play an influential role in the country’s vision towards a greener future through efficient and sustainable energy.

Qatar Cool has collected a string of awards during the years. Which ones would you highlight and how much do they help in awareness and outreach?

Qatar Cool has won over fifteen awards since 2008, for our systems, safety, districts served and innovative and marketing practices.

We are particularly proud of winning the International District Energy Association (IDEA) ‘System of the Year award’ for both our districts, in West bay and the Pearl Qatar.  Qatar Cool first won the prestigious award in 2012 for our plants in the West Bay area, followed by our most recent recognition in 2014 for our The Pearl-Qatar plant, which is also the largest district cooling plant in the world.

The annual ‘System of the Year Award’ is the top honor IDEA can bestow on a public or privately-owned district energy system. The Award recognizes exemplary system efficiency and environmental stewardship, outstanding performance in the areas of safety and reliability and overall commitment to excellence in customer service and industry engagement.

The awareness associated with the awards is tremendously essential, as this highlights our proficiencies and driver, for awareness of the benefits of district cooling.  Conveying such news to our customers is vital, it lays the foundation of trust and reliability.

How do you see Qatar Cool contributing to the QNV2030?

In line with Qatar’s National Vision 2030 for sustainable development, Qatar Cool already boasts a comprehensive district cooling system. However, the country’s ambitious development programs, particularly the large residential and commercial developments in the West Bay area, are expected to continue to drive demand for district cooling services.

District cooling is significantly more cost effective over the long term than conventional solutions. The production of cooling energy supplied to the 50 towers Qatar Cool currently provides its services to in West Bay, has exceeded 170 million ton hour in 2013, representing around 120 million kilowatt hour savings, if the cooling load was provided by conventional methods. This has led to an impressive saving of more than 50 million Kilogram of CO2 emission.  

How do you see Qatar Cool growing on all these topics we have covered above over the next decade?

Qatar Cool does not have a stop-gap when it comes to our drive and success, we are always eager to make breakthroughs in the industry, while advancing our services and dedication to the environment, technology and the community.  

The benefits of district cooling significantly outweigh conventional cooling systems, by reducing energy consumption and costs, protecting the environment and cutting CO2 emissions.  District cooling makes a prudent choice for developers, to support Qatar’s 2030 Vision, thus warranting Qatar Cool’s future.

We will continue to grow as long as the demand is there for district cooling; we see a very positive rewarding future for Qatar Cool and the state of Qatar. 

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