|6 July 2009 Staff Report|
DUBAI – National Central Cooling Company, a provider of air conditioning systems for large-scale property developments, has raised Dh1.1 billion in debt to help pay for its role in the Dubai Metro and other large projects, the company said on Sunday.
The company, known as Tabreed, has borrowed a two-year, Dh750 million loan from First Gulf Bank. The money will help Tabreed cover its a “significant capital expenditure programme plan for 2009,” including developments at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island and joint venture projects with Abu Dhabi developers Aldar Properties and Sorouh Real Estate, said Tabreed Chief Executive Officer Sujit S. Parhar.
Tabreed, based in Abu Dhabi, plans to use some of the funds to finance cooling systems for Dubai Metro, the elevated train network set to open in September, it said. Tabreed’s announcement follows its signing of an agreement for Dh368 million in Ijara financing from Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank in March. The Ijara, or lease agreement, was used to repay the company’s five-year, $100 million sukuk, or shariah-compliant bonds, launched in 2005.
“Since financing is the cornerstone of a utility company’s business plan, such support is important as Tabreed moves to the next stage of its growth,” Parhar said, speaking of both borrowings.
Tabreed has completed 10 district cooling plants over the past 12 months. It expects to bring nine of them on-stream within the next three months, adding an additional 229,000 tonnes of capacity. Tabreed operates 34 plants with total installed capacity of more than 400,000 tonnes.
“Given the current condition of the financial markets, it is significant that Tabreed has demonstrated its ability to secure regional financing,” Tabreed’s Chief Financial Officer Steve Ridlington said.