Tabreed unveils framework for issuance of green bonds and loans

The move will align operations of Dubai-listed company with the UAE’s sustainable development goals

Labourers walk past a Tabreed building in Dubai March 8, 2010. Tabreed, the Middle East's largest district cooling firm, will get a $354 million bailout from Abu Dhabi after it unveiled a loss for 2009 and said it needed to recapitalise.  REUTERS/Jumana El Heloueh (UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - Tags: BUSINESS) - GM1E6381J3301
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The National Central Cooling Company, better known as Tabreed, listed out its green financing framework on Monday to attract green equity funds to invest in its business.

The framework enables Tabreed to issue “green bonds and loans, with the resulting net proceeds to be used for financing eligible green projects, which include its core business of constructing, acquiring and operating district cooling schemes, as well as projects related to energy and water efficiency and wastewater management”, it said.

“We are convinced that this will align our operations with the UN’s and [the] UAE’s sustainable development goals,” Adel Al Wahedi, Tabreed’s chief financial officer, said.

The initiative will benefit Tabreed’s “investors, shareholders, staff and customers” and help the company attract green debt.

The UAE, the Arab world’s second-largest economy, has planned renewable and clean energy investment worth Dh600 billion ($163.37bn) over the next three decades.

Last month, the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy approved updated plans to reduce carbon emissions by 30 per cent before the end of 2030, a move aimed at supporting the UAE’s efforts to achieve its net zero ambitions by 2050.

“Around the world, governments and public institutions are adopting ambitious sustainability agendas and at Tabreed, we are supporting the UAE’s efforts in this regard,” Mr Al Wahedi said. “This green financial framework will benefit developers and communities alike.”

Tabreed’s new framework is accompanied by a second-party opinion from global environment, social and governance (ESG) rating agency Sustainalytics, validating the sustainable nature of Tabreed’s district cooling operations, which use “50 per cent less power than conventional cooling”, the company said.

“Tabreed’s green financing framework has been developed in accordance with the ICMA Green Bond Principles 2021 and the Loan Market Association Green Loan Principles 2021, and will be governed by a multidisciplinary management committee led by the group’s chief financial officer.”

The Dubai-listed company reported a 6 per cent increase in its 2021 profit to Dh585 million ($159m) on the back of higher revenue.

Tabreed currently owns and operates 86 district cooling plants across the GCC, including 75 in the UAE, three in Saudi Arabia, seven in Oman and one in Bahrain.

Updated: March 07, 2022, 11:54 AM