ADC Energy Systems, based in Dubai, is building on its expertise gained over a successful 10 years in business by seeking to grow not only its capabilities, but also its geographical reach.

The company, which has reached AED 1.7 billion turnover since its inception in 2005, is a turnkey contractor for Cooling Plants, Energy Services, Grain Handling and Infrastructure.

The EPC (Engineering, Construction and Procurement) contractor has been awarded over 20 district cooling plants during that period and is currently working on bringing to completion six plants by the end of 2015 and into the first half of 2016 within the GCC region.

ADC built its first district cooling plant for Dubai’s iconic development The Palm Jumeirah, the palm-tree shaped, man-made island, which is home to a number of luxurious hotels and holiday accommodations including the five-star Atlantis Hotel.

CEO Ibrahim Sleiman said: “This was the first major project we won through our partnership approach and since then there have been almost 20 projects scattered between Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, and other GCC countries such as Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

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Collectively to date, the District Cooling Plants – DCP generate a total cooling capacity nearing 600,000 Tons of Refrigeration; The electric power required for feeding the DCPs amount to no less than 450 MW of power stations, and it’s cooling. . The DCPs have a total combined footprint of about 26,000 square metres and serve seven leading utility developers and operators, as well as master developers within the GCC region.

With some 200 professionals on board, along with a 350-core construction team, Sleiman explained that ADC is keen to further explore its capabilities throughout its energy services division, and new sectors like Renewable Energy.

The forward-thinking company is also looking at how it can further utilise the renewables sector in a bid to bring greater efficiencies and benefits for not just its customers, but also for the environment.

Exciting times are ahead in the GCC region with events such as the World Expo 2020 to be hosted in Dubai and the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. All of these are opportunities that ADC is keen to exploit and is already involved in, or pitching for the business they are creating. 

The company is in the finishing stages of completing a new district cooling plant in Qatar’s $45 billion, ambitious and ground-breaking new town development of Lusail, which is being purpose-built to cope with the demands the World Cup is expected to generate.

Powering on

First and foremost, ADC, building on its wealth of experience in Engineering, Procurement and Construction and as a natural growth from the District Cooling sector, through its Energy Services arm which is currently looking at how it can develop Combined Cooling Heating & Power (CCHP) schemes.

For this purpose, ADC is targeting l industrial and institutional clients whose connectivity to the main grid or need for back-up power in addition to their requirements for comfort or process cooling and heating qualify them as attractive prospects for CCHP schemes.

Sleiman said: “District cooling systems are very efficient, but they are intensive power users of the national grid with an average 40-50 megawatts per plant. Through the power generation, transmission and distribution cycle, there is a lot of energy wastage with nearly -60 percent of the original energy source lost.

“So that is not very efficient and what we want to do with CCHP is to produce the energy where you need it by combining your power generation with your cooling/heating requirements in one plant and optimise the production of the power side by capturing the waste heat wherever you produce power.

“By so doing, we can almost increase the effectiveness of the energy source from 35-40 percent up to 75 percent or maybe even higher.”

Sleiman was keen to point out that ADC is not pursuing pure power production, but targeting the sector of distributed energy plants which deliver energy at the point of use.

Exploring renewables

Another strategic focus for the company is the use of renewable energy sources such as solar panels and the company is currently investigating the use of Concentrated Solar Panels.

“The reason we still use fossil fuel for our plants is the fact that with solar energy plants you need a lot of space which is hard to find in urban areas,” said Sleiman.

“So for now we are concentrating on smaller-scale solar plants. We are looking to participate in an Egyptian set of tenders which will come out shortly, which will range between 20 and 30 megawatts of power production.

“We also anticipate to a smaller extent that there will be further opportunities from Jordan and Kuwait, and with Saudi Arabia much larger 100 megawatt plants which we will target in due time. 

New frontiers

Geographically speaking, ADC has already qualified and participated in tenders as far afield as Algeria to the West and eastwards as far as India and Bangladesh for its grain handling business.

Huge infrastructure growth in Saudi Arabia means ADC has its hand firmly on that tiller. Sleiman said: “There is huge opportunity in Saudi at the moment and when you add up all the other GCC countries, Saudi can equalise if not exceed the developments of the other countries in the GCC region put together pending more regional stability in terms of security and oil prices.

“There are essentially two prongs to our growth, one is expansion in different sectors by pushing our CCHP strategy which is a natural outgrowth of our district cooling plants to second generation cooling/thermal energy plants into renewables.

“The second is territory wise, expanding beyond our core markets to tackle projects in the wider GCC as well as in North Africa and potentially central African countries, where we are bidding for a few projects right now.”

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