Dubai's Tabreed expects to double capacity in 2009

National Central Cooling Co (Tabreed) said on Monday it expects to double capacity next year to 1 million tonnes refrigerant, with most of the extra capacity added in the United Arab Emirates.

"The district cooling industry is going to be on a fast growth rate for a few years," said Karl Marietta, Tabreed's deputy chief executive officer.

He was speaking on the sidelines of a Meed conference.  Tabreed, which builds cooling and air conditioning systems, plans to manage about 500,000 tonnes refrigerant by the end of this year and as much as 1.5 million tonnes by the end of 2010, Marietta told Reuters.

Most of the growth will be in Abu Dhabi, he said, but the company is also building plants in Ajman and Fujairah and expanding a plant in Ras al-Khaimah.

It costs 10,000 dirhams ($2,723) to develop one tonne of capacity, he said, adding Tabreed has no plans to borrow.

Tons refrigerant is an industry measure. One ton refrigerant cools one cubic metre of air and four will cool a one bedroom apartment.