PIF completes acquisition of 30% stake in district cooling company Saudi Tabreed

Investment supports sovereign wealth fund's efforts to develop utilities and low-carbon sectors in the kingdom

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Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund completed the acquisition of a 30 per cent stake in district cooling company Saudi Tabreed as part of its efforts to diversify the kingdom's economy and boost its investments in energy efficiency solutions.

The investment supports “PIF’s efforts to grow and develop the local utilities and low-carbon sectors”, the fund said on Sunday.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Saudi Tabreed currently manages 779,000 tonnes of refrigeration through contracts with major companies in the kingdom. This includes Saudi Aramco’s Dhahran district cooling plant, the Jabal Omar district cooling plant in Makkah, the district cooling scheme at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, and a centralised cooling plant at the Amaad Business Park in Dhahran.

Saudi Tabreed also serves the Red Sea project.

“Our investment in Saudi Tabreed will support the achievement of PIF’s economic diversification goals, especially in light of the anticipated growth in Saudi Arabia’s district cooling market,” said Yazeed Al Humied, deputy governor and head of Mena investments at PIF.

“The investment is also fully aligned with PIF’s strategy to enable promising sectors in the country, and supports Saudi Arabia’s transition to sustainable and more efficient sources of energy.”

The sovereign wealth fund is at the heart of the Saudi Vision 2030 initiative to diversify the kingdom’s economy and reduce its reliance on hydrocarbons.

Under a five-year strategy announced in 2021, the PIF aims to more than double the value of its assets under management to $1.07 trillion and commit $40 billion annually to develop Saudi Arabia's economy until 2025.

PIF has created 10 new sectors, set up more than 30 new companies, created 331,000 jobs in Saudi Arabia and more than tripled its assets in the past few years.

As part of its strategy to develop 70 per cent of Saudi Arabia’s renewable energy by 2030, it is focusing on investments in the low carbon sector including electric vehicles and solar energy projects.

PIF has major investments in renewable energy companies such as Acwa Power, the Sudair and Al Shuaibah Solar Energy projects, and in the development of electric vehicles through investments in Lucid Motors, Ceer and E1.

District cooling is recognised as one of the most energy-efficient cooling solutions, due to its ability to conserve natural resources, making a major contribution to the reduction of greenhouse gases, PIF said.

Saudi Tabreed offers “highly efficient solutions that drive reductions in power consumption and the costs of operation and maintenance, as well as encouraging alternatives to traditional air conditioning systems”, it added.

“PIF’s investment further enhances our position as a market leader in Saudi Arabia,” said Mohammed Abunayyan, chairman of Saudi Tabreed.

“With added credibility and stronger financial performance, being part of the PIF portfolio significantly expands our ability to support the country’s energy transition and sustainability targets. We are committed to working together as we move forward in our mission to enhance Saudi Arabia’s urban development.”

Updated: February 12, 2023, 4:08 PM