By Eman Hamed
MARAKEZ, the Egyptian arm of Saudi Arabian conglomerate Fawaz Alhokair Group, the leading shopping mall developer in the Middle East, signed a BOOT contract with the National Central Cooling Company PJSC (DFM: Tabreed) and The Egyptian Company for Energy and Cooling projects (Gascool) to provide district cooling services to D5M, the first mall in New Katameya in East Cairo that’s opening in 2022.
MARAKEZ is setting the benchmark for mixed-use developments in Egypt with construction of D5M, the commercial component of District Five currently nearing completion. District 5 is MARAKEZ’s latest development in Egypt and its signature project in East Cairo. D5 features Mindhaus, a world-class 240,000 sqm office park with thoughtful spaces for community engagement and D5M, the first mall in New Katameya encompassing 100,000 sqm for retail, F&B and entertainment and 50,000 Gross Leasable Area (GLA) all located within walking distance to the exclusive 1,800 residential units of District Five Residences.
MARAKEZ and its partners are constructing the D5M district cooling plant in stages, aiming to be fully operational before the end of 2023. Tabreed will be the lead partner owning 60% equity with Gascool owning 40%. The plant’s operational capacity will be 6,000 refrigeration tons (RT), with total installed capacity of 7,500 RT.
“As an industry leader in the real estate development sector, MARAKEZ seeks equally strong partners to support its pioneering commercial and residential developments across Egypt,” said Basil Ramzi, CEO of MARAKEZ. “Our partnership with Tabreed and Gascool – two leading companies providing energy-efficient, cost-effective and environmentally-friendlier cooling solutions – further deepens our efforts in support of Egypt Vision 2030 toward greater environmental sustainability.”
Following the signing of the agreement, Khalid Abdullah Al Marzooqi, Tabreed’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “This is a very important, strategic step for our company, our entry into the Egypt market being a solid part of our long-term plans for sustainable growth beyond the GCC. Tabreed’s unrivalled expertise in the district cooling industry will benefit Egypt in various ways and Gascool is a perfect fit for Tabreed, having a proven track record for operational excellence, sharing our values and a relentless pursuit of energy efficiency. Our business partner and shareholder, ENGIE, also has a strong presence in Egypt, experience that Tabreed will be able to benefit from over the coming years.”
Egypt is a very promising market for Tabreed, where district cooling is a relatively nascent industry. Established in 2004, Gascool was the country’s first district cooling provider. Take-up is increasing, however, and will assist the country in meeting its ‘net zero’ environmental targets. District cooling uses approximately half the energy consumed by conventional cooling methods, preventing the release of millions of tons of carbon dioxide each year. The industry is becoming increasingly viewed as an essential pillar in the drive toward carbon neutrality.
MARAKEZ’s total investments for its current projects in Egypt exceed EGP 21 billion of which, EGP 11 billion have already been invested with EGP 10 billion to be invested in the coming three years.