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District cooling will triple in Gulf

A massive increase in demand for district cooling is being predicted in the Gulf to try to tackle problems with growing energy use, but the credit crunch may cause problems in securing funding for the schemes.

A report by MEED Insight predicts district cooling will increase by more than 350 per cent by 2015 in the booming region.

But, the report also notes that getting the necessary project finance will cause issues due to the current financial climate and reluctance by banks to extend long-term financing.

The Gulf district cooling market has experienced rapid growth over the past decade, with current capacity at more than 1.8 million tonnes of refrigeration.

There are more than $1 trillion worth projects planned or under way in the Gulf and district cooling companies are preparing for a massive increase in business as real estate developers and utility companies turn to the technology.

The demand is being boosted by the fact that district cooling is at least 40 per cent more efficient than conventional air conditioning.

In its District Cooling report, MEED Insight estimates that capacity will rise to 6.5 million tonnes of refrigeration in the next seven years, at a cost of about $19.5 bill.