Empower acquires Dubai International Airport’s district cooling assets in $299m deal

The deal with Dubai Aviation City Corporation is line with the company’s push to boost its portfolio of assets

Empower became the sole district cooling services provider for Dubai International Airport after acquiring five units. Photo: Dubai Media office
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Emirates Central Cooling Systems Corporation, the Dubai utility known as Empower, has acquired the right to operate five district cooling units of the Dubai International Airport in a deal valued at Dh1.1 billion ($299 million).

The company acquired the assets, with a total capacity of 110,000 refrigeration tonnes, from Dubai Aviation City Corporation, Empower said in a statement on Friday to the Dubai Financial Market, where its shares are traded.

Following the conclusion of the deal, Empower has become the sole district cooling services provider for the busiest international airport in the world in terms of passengers.

Its other portfolio includes the Dubai International Financial Centre, Dubai World Trade Centre, Dubai Healthcare City, Meydan City, Dubai Studio City, Dubai Maritime City, Dubai Land, Palm Jumeirah, JBR, Bluewaters Island and Business Bay.

The transaction is a “remarkable demonstration of successful strategic partnerships between the government and private sectors in Dubai, which is helping to establish the city as a distinct model”, said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed, president of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and chairman of Dubai Airports.

“Such partnerships are crucial in the global context and serve as a key pillar for the development of Dubai's economy,” said Sheikh Ahmed, who is also the chairman and chief executive of Emirates airline and group.

Set up in 2003, Empower is a joint venture between Dubai Electricity and Water Authority and Emirates Power Investment of Dubai Holding.

It serves more than 110,000 corporate and individual customers in more than 1,400 buildings, with a connected capacity of about 1.4 million refrigeration tonnes and a contracted capacity of about 1.5 million refrigeration tonnes, according to its website.

The company was listed on the DFM in November after it sold two billion shares through its initial public offering, or 20 per cent of its share capital. It raised more than Dh2.6 billion from the public float, which drew strong demand from local, regional and international investors and was more than 47 times oversubscribed.

Empower has been on an expansion spree in recent quarters and has concluded a number of new deals.

In February, it signed an agreement with Dubai Maritime City to provide its projects with district cooling services with a capacity exceeding 63,000 refrigeration tonnes.

A similar agreement was signed with Sobha Real Estate in March to provide 17,000 refrigeration tonnes to the Sobha Hartland project.

Updated: May 20, 2023, 1:03 PM