Phototheque VEOLIA - Stéphane Lavoue

How Bahrain keeps cool

Posted on 31 May 2016.

In Manama, the capital of the archipelago, the innovative central cooling network Veolia has developed makes use of both seawater and wastewater.

Its special feature? No municipal water flows through the system!

Bahrain - a little known archipelago consisting of 36 islands in the Arabo-Persian Gulf. Its capital, Manama, has a completely different feel as Dubai despite it began building "Bahrain Bay" - a real estate development covering over a million square meters overlooking the sea.

To support the development of the bay, Veolia and the investment fund Arcapita joined forces in the "Bahrain Bay Utilities" joint venture. From the outset, the major challenge was to provide air conditioning for all the buildings.

Half of the year, the country endures a humid heat - a real challenge given that air conditioning systems often create inconvenience and are voracious consumers of energy and water.

To meet this challenge, Bahrain Bay Utilities made the usual choice in such circumstances: rather than give each building its own cooling system it set up a network covering the whole development. This innovative system was commissioned in 2011.

The complex that was designed consists of a cooling system and a wastewater treatment plant. It is connected to 30 energy transfer stations which then feed all the buildings in the bay. Its special feature? No municipal water flows through the system!

It’s a real achievement when you consider that cooling plants need a lot of water to operate. The central cooling network was designed so that the water is taken from the sea.

These facilities meet sustainable development standards.

In total, the complex has a production capacity of 45,000 tons of refrigeration. Enough to ensure the Bay stays cool – both efficiently and responsibly!

Main picture: Phototheque VEOLIA - Stéphane Lavoue