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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

District Cooling should be encouraged to promote Sustainable Development


The Seventh edition of Climate Control Conference (C3) was held at Grand Hyatt, Doha, Qatar on 6th and 7th October 2013. The theme for the event was “Essentially District cooling”. The event was well attended by key staff from cooling industry, business men from infrastructure industry and specialists from other industries.

Dr. R. Seetharaman, CEO of Doha Bank participated in the panel discussion on “sustainable development “. He said “Sustainable development is a development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Sustainable development involves contribution towards economic growth, social development and environment. Some of the key challenges in sustainable development include climate change, energy security, increase in natural and man-made disasters and rising unemployment. The District cooling system can promote sustainable development as it employs strict emission controls, reducing carbon di-oxide production and results in air quality benefits

Dr.R.Seetharaman also spoke at the Conference on “Financial considerations Risk management measures by banks, and Qatar’s decisive shift to phase-based development of district cooling schemes, in sync with occupancy profiles” Speaking at the Conference he highlighted the environmental trends impacting Qatar. He said “Out of the 4 pillars of Qatar National Vision 2030 one of the pillar is environmental development which can encourage environmentally aware population, sophisticated environmental institutions and international co-operation on environment. Taking into consideration Qatar’s lack of water resources, the Qatar National Food Security Programme (QNFSP) is planning to secure its agricultural water from desalination. According to Qatar Energy & Industry Sector Sustainability report 2012 , The Al-Shaheen Oil Field Gas Recovery and Utilization Project is the first Clean Development Mechanism ( CDM ) project in Qatar and has achieved 90% reduction in flaring since 2007, resulting in savings of approximately 2.31 million tonnes CO2 equivalent per year. We should also look for scope to implement CDM financing for District cooling projects.”

Dr.R.Seetharaman highlighted the current trends in District cooling system in GCC. He said “After Global crisis the district cooling industry began to hit road blocks spurred by a precipitous slowing down of real estate construction. A key challenge that the downturn immediately threw up was the lack of availability of sufficient projects in the market, considering the large number of contractors vying for a share of a considerably smaller pie. These companies grossly over-estimated the sustainability of demand in the future.”

Dr.R.Seetharaman gave insights on the way forward for District cooling system in GCC. He said “Regulatory framework for District cooling for tariff structures / for setting pipeline infrastructure etc. It is in the interests of GCC governments to offer a preferential treatment to district cooling as the resultant reduction in energy consumption would result in better fiscal surplus at macro level due to more economic use of fossil resources for exports. District cooling projects developed on the strength of load estimates provided by real estate developers, the load estimates need to be more realistic based on usage. A phased development based on occupancy levels would enable load estimates to be realistic.”

Dr. R. Seetharaman also highlighted the major trends in risk management. He said “Basel 3 has brought reforms to increase quality and consistency of capital, increase counterparty credit risk charges, restrict leverage, reduce capital buffers, and increase the quantity and quality of liquid assets and funding profile of banks. Banks would only have to meet 60% of the Liquidity coverage ratio obligations by 2015, and the full rule would be phased in annually through 2019.The Basel 3 implementation is underway. Massive infrastructure projects are planned in Qatar and the credit risk expertise needs to be strengthened for evaluating projects in the renewable energy segment.”

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