The National Central Cooling Company, also known as Tabreed, is trying to extend its Asian footprint in countries such as Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia, anticipating an increase in demand for cooling services throughout the region.
Outside of its core Gulf market, the firm has signed deals to provide district cooling services in India and Egypt, and its chairman, Khaled Al Qubaisi told The National that it will consider "organic" and "inorganic" expansion prospects, including mergers and acquisitions.
"If the right opportunities reveal themselves, we will consider mergers and acquisitions." "In the end, it's about getting the best returns for our shareholders," Mr Al Qubaisi stated.
Tabreed, one of the Middle East's leading utility firms, has been quickly extending its activities throughout the Mena region.
The company is enthusiastic about future growth in India and plans to expand through acquisitions and Greenfield projects.
Previously it launched a holding organisation with the World Bank's International Finance Corporation to spend up to $400 million in India, the world's fifth-largest economy, over the next five years.
"In addition to growing our portfolio in India, we are exploring opportunities in South-East Asian countries," stated Al Qubaisi, the chairman of the company.
"Rising populations, warmer temperatures and global commitments to reducing carbon emissions are driving an increase in demand for district cooling," he said.
According to Future Market Insights, the global district cooling market is predicted to rise to $63.2 billion by 2033, up from $29.2 billion today, with an annual growth rate of 8%.
Tabreed's revenue for the third quarter increased by 10.5%, owing to new connections and increased demand from current clients.
Mr. Al Qubaisi stated that the company, which introduced a green financing framework last year, is "really solid" in terms of cash position and is capable of managing a large portion of its expansion without incurring extra debt.
He declined to comment on Tabreed's plans to issue green bonds next year, but he did say that green finance would be critical to the company's success.
"The framework enables the company to issue green bonds, loans and sukuks with resulting net proceeds to be used for financing or refinancing eligible green projects, which includes our core business," Al Qubaisi said in a statement.
The market for green and sustainable bonds and sukuk is rising, particularly in GCC economies, as governments in the oil-rich economic bloc strive to meet their net-zero pledges.
Total GCC green and sustainable bond and sukuk issuances hit a record $8.5 billion from 15 deals last year, up from $605 million from six deals in 2021, according to Bloomberg's Capital Markets League Tables, with growing involvement from banks and government-related institutions.
According to sources, countries have been asked to commit to a global promise mandating at least a 68% decrease in cooling-related emissions by 2050.
The process of producing chilled water in a centralised energy plant and delivering it to buildings via underground pipes is known as district cooling. It is regarded as environmentally benign, energy efficient, and cost effective.
"District cooling will reduce energy consumption regardless," Mr Al Qubaisi added.
The rising share of renewable energy in the electrical mix has enhanced district cooling sustainability.
"In India, for example, renewable energy is actually less expensive than conventional energy. Energy from solar facilities in India is cheaper than energy from gas-fired plants and you don't even need subsidies to do so", according to Mr Al Qubaisi.