Mar. 24, 2015

Ahmad M. Bin Shafar

UAE, Dubai

Ahmad M. Bin Shafar

CEO, Empower

"If everything goes according to plan, this market will give us the opportunity to double our capacity by 2018."


Ahmad M. Bin Shafar is the CEO of Empower, a position he has occupied since the company’s inception in 2004. He brings over 18 years of experience in senior management positions, including eight years with Standard Chartered Bank in the areas of corporate and retail banking, finance, marketing, and customer relations. He is also the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Empower Logstor Insulated Pipe Systems (ELIPS), a strategic joint venture between Empower and Logstor, a world leader in pre-insulated pipe systems. He was also the first UAE national to ever be nominated to the International District Energy Association (IDEA) Board of Directors, in June 2013. He is a graduate of California State University, where he obtained a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration and Management.

What have been your main achievements of recent years?

The acquisition of Palm District Cooling was certainly one of our main achievements last year. The acquisition helped us a lot to expand our operating zone, increase our domain, and the landscape of district cooling areas in Dubai. Through this acquisition, we now have representation in almost every major project in Dubai. Not only are we active in almost every major project, but we also have representation in almost every major sector. When you look at the way Dubai is developing, we have very strong representation throughout the tourism and leisure market, shopping malls, and healthcare facilities. Of course the acquisition provided a boost to our market share and it also saw us increasing our net profit by 65%. Our revenue grew to AED1.5 billion in 2014, a growth of 76% over the previous year, thus solidifying us as one of the real blue-chip companies in terms of size and market share.

What is the significance of the MoU you signed with Johnson Controls?

If you look at the district cooling industry, any leader in any industry should have initiatives and responsibilities when it comes to participating in R&D. Part of our commitment to the district cooling industry is that we signed an agreement with Johnson Controls in the US to develop a cooling tower so that applications can be used in water cooling and air cooling to save energy. Saving energy is not just Empower's theme; it is a global theme. Everyone wants to save energy and have green buildings. By collaborating with the leading manufacturers in the world, it gives us the privilege to associate with them and it gives us an advantage in sharing a new technology that we are building for the Emirates.

“If everything goes according to plan, this market will give us the opportunity to double our capacity by 2018."

How does Empower play a role in developing a green economy for Dubai and the UAE?

District cooling is one of the main pillars of green buildings. District cooling is a new air conditioning technology that supplies cool air through an environmentally friendly application by using chilled water. District cooling is the main pillar of any green economy. Moreover, building owners are beginning to understand that the green aspect of green buildings isn't simply the building materials, but involves the overall operational efficiency during construction and after completion. Construction only lasts a short time when you consider the overall lifespan of a building.

How do you see Empower evolving in the future?

If everything goes according to plan, this market will give us the opportunity to double our capacity by 2018. The US, Canada, and Mexico have a total district cooling capacity of 650,000 tons. Empower, as just one company, has more than 1 million tons. The entire continent of North America only has 650,000, and we alone in Dubai have more than 1 million. If I double that to more than 2 million, it will mean a huge amount of business. It's really an opportunity for the manufacturers to develop their industry toward for green products.

© The Business Year - March 2015