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Masdar City revises master plan

Abu Dhabi, October 10, 2010

Abu Dhabi green energy firm Masdar will further delay the completion of a zero-carbon emissions city with a final build-out likely to be extended up until 2025, the company said in a statement on Sunday.   

State-owned Masdar will also delay the completion of phase one of the $22 billion project by two years to 2015. A senior official had said in January the first phase of the project would be completed in 2013.

On Sunday, Masdar said the delays came after a review process undertaken this year and aimed at taking into account 'market and technology developments.'   

The key revisions include:

• Limiting of the Personal Rapid Transport (PRT) system to an ongoing pilot project within the Masdar Institute facilities, while allowing for the possibility of alternative electric vehicle technologies and transport system to be rolled out in the City.
• Limiting the 7.5m podium and service trench to the Masdar Institute.
• Revised delivery timeline, with the one million square meter Phase 1 now scheduled for completion in 2015 and final build-out by 2020-2025.
• The exploration of new potential sources of power – such as geothermal energy and solar thermal cooling – with a number of pilot projects already underway.
• While still aiming to eventually be powered 100 percent by renewable energy, Masdar City will no longer rely solely on on-site clean energy sources. Instead, the purchase of renewable energy from off-site locations may also be utilized as energy demands increase over the project’s lifetime.

The company now expects to complete the final build-out by 2020 to 2025, it said on Sunday.   

In December, a top Masdar official forecast a possible one-year delay to the city's opening, pushing back the launch to 2019 or 2020.

Masdar unveiled ambitious plans to invest in renewable energy projects in 2007. Abu Dhabi has pumped billions into its clean energy initiative as it aims both to cut emissions and prepare the world's third-largest crude exporter for a future less dependent on oil.

The UAE is one of the world's largest emitters of greenhouse gas per capita.

Masdar said on Sunday it was exploring new potential sources of power such as geothermal energy and solar thermal cooling. Originally Masdar City was going to generate its energy needs through solar, wind and hydrogen power projects.

The master plan review highlighted the achievements at Masdar City to date, including the completion of the first six buidlings of the Masdar Institute (students and faculty having moved into the new facility in September 2010), residential units that use 54 per cent less water and 51 per cent less electricity than the UAE average, 30 per cent of electricity demand provided by rooftop photovoltaic panels and 75 per cent of the buildings’ hot water provided by rooftop thermal collectors. The review also confirmed the need for a phased approach to the development to allow for new technological innovations to be incorporated as building progresses.

“From the beginning, Masdar has been engaged in a journey of discovery to create a blueprint for the future of sustainable cities. Our steady progress is being built on our ability to discover the best technologies and approaches to sustainable urban living bring them most effectively to Masdar City,” said Dr Sultan Al Jaber, CEO of Masdar. 

“As the construction phase progresses, we will be continually learning, adjusting and moving forward towards our vision for Masdar City. As technology and the market evolve so will our plan. The key is to be flexible and adaptable rather than rigid and dogmatic. By doing so we can constantly apply the knowledge captured during our development to the delivery of our Master Plan. We will continually review and update our thinking so Masdar is always at the cutting-edge of global clean technology,” said Dr Al Jaber.

 Alan Frost, director of Masdar City, said: “By its very nature, research is discovery. As Masdar City moves forward over time, many new discoveries will shape the future direction of our journey. The effective capture and implementation of this knowledge, built on our experiences, will prove to be key to our long-term success,” said.

“Sticking firmly to the scale of our original vision, Masdar is proactive in reviewing and revising our forward plans to embrace new thinking and changing realities across technology advancement, commercial feasibility and the global market,” said Frost.

This is the first of several regular project updates which will continue during the delivery of Masdar City, the statement added.  – Reuters and TradeArabia News Service




Tags: abu dhabi | Environment | Masdar City | Master plan |

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