Jafza to become largest energy retrofit project in the Middle East

Economic Zones World has struck a deal with DEWA’s Etihad ESCO to retrofit its existing buildings and facilities at Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza) to make them more energy efficient. LED lighting will play a part in generating a net saving of 30%, worth some AED 132 million over six years.

The first phase of the project comprises an energy upgrade at 157 staff accommodation buildings in Jafza and includes replacement of 85,000 old light fixtures with high efficiency LEDs, as well as 5000 old air conditioners and 31,000 inefficient water units. The project will significantly reduce Jafza’s carbon footprint and will make its operations more sustainable and efficient.

Economic Zones World (EZW) is the global developer and operator of economic zones, technology, logistics and industrial parks under the Dubai World Group. His Excellency Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, chairman of DP World and Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, said: “The utility cost is the second largest expense for Jafza. The power and water consumption level in Jafza crossed 75 million kWh and 750 million gallons per year respectively. As a pioneering Free Zone and top business hub, we felt the urgent need to make our old commercial and residential buildings more energy efficient.”

The project aims to achieve a average power consumption saving of 28% and a 36% water consumption reduction, while reducing carbon footprint by 75,000 tons during the six-year scheme. The project will generate a net saving of 30%, worth AED 132 million. The project will be funded by Etihad ESCO through sharia-compliant financing from National Bonds Corporation. The repayment (including financing cost) will be met from the guaranteed savings over the six-year project period.

“The combined average savings in power and water consumption is 30%, which is fully in line with the recently announced UAE and Dubai Government’s energy conservation strategy that seeks to reduce overall energy consumption to 30% by the end of 2030,” said Bin Sulayem. “The current retrofit project in Jafza will, therefore, make the Free Zone the first organisation in the UAE to comply with the provisions of national energy conservation strategy far ahead of time.”

Jafza has been continuously implementing green initiatives over the years. Energy-saving measures include the installation of timer-controlled devices and photocells in parking areas, corridors and other parts of the buildings, as well as replacement of old lighting fixtures with LEDs. Jafza is using building management systems to ensure efficient energy savings in its new projects.