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CEO of Dubai's Empower mulls IPO as 2017 net profit rises by 20%

by Rajiv Ravindran Pillai on Feb 20, 2018

Ahmad Bin Shafar, the CEO of Empower.
Ahmad Bin Shafar, the CEO of Empower.

Dubai-headquartered district cooling company, Emirates Central Cooling Systems Corporation (Empower), announced that it achieved a net profit of $210m (AED772m) in 2017.

This figure is an increase of 20% over the year 2016.

READ: UAE's Empower records over 500,000 transactions in 2017

The announcement was made by Ahmad Bin Shafar, chief executive officer (CEO) of Empower, at a press conference held in Dubai on on 19 February, 2018.

Empower’s total revenues in 2017 amounted to $534m (AED1.96bn), an increase of 6.1% compared to the last year.

Commenting on Empower's performance last year, Shafar continued: "Our total cooling capacity reached to 1.34 million refrigeration tons (RT), and by announcing this number, we are largest by far from all our competitors.

"Empower’s strong financial results reflect its continuous efforts and commitment to deliver efficient and cost-effective district cooling services that comply with the highest international standards and the best global practices." 

Remarking on Empower's plan to go public, which were initially halted in early 2016, Shafar expressed his desire to revisit an initial public offering (IPO) for the company.

"We are the best candidate [to launch an] IPO. Are we going to go for IPO? Yes. When? We don't know."

Shafar also addressed the issue of why district cooling is considered unpopular among villas: "District cooling is the proper solution for high-density areas, [such as, for example] if there are three towers next to each other and each tower has 250 apartments.

"So if you want to have air-conditioning in 250 units and if you put chillers, who will pay the bill if it's freehold property? But for villas, district cooling is not the solution because the cost will be in the network. 

"We [would] have to spend on the network [and] it's not going to be very efficient."

Commenting on the use of treated sewage effluent (TSE) water in Empower's plants, the chief executive said: "I am trying to make TSE mandatory in all my plants, but the problem is the availability of [TSE] water.

"Dubai Municipality has treated water that it [connects to] a network and [distributes]." 

Shafar said that he endeavours to reduce the use of, and conserve, clean water supplied by Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), the emirate's utility, adding that this is done even though DEWA is a shareholder.

"I am looking at the business proposition," he explained.

"I am still tapping on both, TSE water and potable water."