Empower Settles USD 728.0 Million Loan in Full Ahead of Schedule

Press release
Published December 26th, 2018 - 12:25 GMT
Empower CEO, Ahmad Bin Shafar.
Empower CEO, Ahmad Bin Shafar.

Emirates Central Cooling Systems Corporation (EMPOWER), the world’s largest district cooling services provider, has prepaid three loan installments of AED 580.0 million (USD 157.5 million) prior to their maturity. With these prepayments and payment of DIB facility of USD 128 million, Empower has fully settled its term loan facilities for a total amount of AED 2.67 billion (USD 728.0 million) and the company will have zero debt in its books at the end of the year.

Ahmad Bin Shafar, Chief Executive Officer of Empower said: “We have pre-paid the loan facility installments 2 years prior to its final maturity. This reflects the robustness and sustainability of our business model and our prudent financial strategy that is paying off significantly.”

“Empower has prepaid its loan installments in the past as well under bilateral and syndicated loan facilities. However, this prepayment has a specific significance as Empower has fully settled all its financial indebtedness and will not have any debt balance in its books as of 31st December, 2018” Bin Shafar added.

Bin Shafar said: “Empower had secured this financing for the acquisition of Palm District Cooling (PDC) and for other capex purposes. Empower had been paying the annual loan installments of this amortizing loan structure and has now completely settled all the remaining loan installments including the ones due in 2019”.

Bin Shafar stated: “Empower boasts an open dialogue with banks via which it ensures competitive financing for its expansion. The company strongly believes that cost effective and ever growing requirement for funding for the district cooling industry is dependent on this continuous dialogue between district cooling companies and local, regional and international banks.”

Empower has adopted the business model of investing in plants and network infrastructure based upon actual demand in a particular project which has ensured sustainable growth and consistent financial performance of the company. As a result, Empower has always settled its obligations as per the timelines or ahead of scheduled timelines which has been well acknowledged by banks who in turn value their investments in our business.  

“Being a utility business with long term and stable cash flows, district cooling significantly reduces financing risks for banks and financial institutions and we have witnessed increased confidence of Banks and financial institutions in financing UAE’s district cooling industry, notably Empower” said Bin Shafar.

Bin Shafar also added that the growing confidence of banks in financing Empower’s district cooling projects also stems from Dubai’s support to the growth of this industry as the Emirate looks at district cooling as a key element of its energy strategy and aims to considerably increase the penetration of district cooling services.  

“We will continuously invest in the further development of our infrastructure and network to cater to the rapidly increasing demand for district cooling in Dubai. We are delighted to settle these loan installments ahead of the agreed timelines” concluded Bin Shafar.

Currently, Empower has more than 1,090 buildings that are using district cooling services, catering to around 100,000 customers. The company operates more than 1.4 Million Refrigeration Tons (RT), providing environmentally friendly district cooling services to large-scale real estate developments, such as Bluewaters, Jumeirah Group, Business Bay, Jumeirah Beach Residence, Dubai International Financial Centre, Palm Jumeirah, Jumeirah Lake Towers, Ibn Battuta Mall, Discovery Gardens, Dubai Healthcare City, Dubai World Trade Centre Residences and Dubai Design District, amongst others.

Background Information

Emirates Central Cooling Systems Corporation (Empower)

Emirates Central Cooling Systems Corporation (EMPOWER) was established in 2003 with an objective to enable the real estate sector to efficiently utilize energy resources through District Cooling Services (DCS).  Empower was set up as a joint venture between Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) and TECOM Investments a member of Dubai Holding through a Royal Decree issued by the Ruler of Dubai.

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