On 22 March 2018, French utility company Engie announced that it will invest $80 million in Singapore over the next five years, to develop an innovation centre that will drive digital initiatives and technical competencies in energy efficiency for the region. Its Centre of Expertise for District Cooling will support the development of new district cooling projects in Singapore and in the Asia-Pacific region, and create 170 jobs for skilled staff, most of whom will be engineers.
Engie is a major player in highly efficient cooling networks, that are typically 50% more energy efficient than individual cooling solutions. ENGIE operates more than 320 low carbon urban heating and cooling networks in 20 countries including China, Malaysia, The Philippines and New-Zealand. Singapore will become one of Engie’s main regional development platforms, besides existing operations in the Middle East, Western Europe and North America.
In addition, ENGIE will develop and roll out digital solutions and services across Asia Pacific, from Singapore, to harness real-time data and insights. This will help customers manage and improve energy efficiency, maximise performance, and create better ambient experiences for their end-users. The digital initiatives include Avril Digital, a platform that can provide initial and predictive analysis to manage efficiency of data centres. This service will be launched in the second quarter of 2018, Engie said.
The company is also looking to implement digital Internet of Things (IoT) and remote monitoring platforms to provide real time data to hospitals, hotels or airports to improve energy efficiency and comfort. Other initiatives by Engie include the use of its integrated building management system to provide real-time data on all equipment and conditions in buildings and the digitalisation of its facility management processes, through computerised management solutions.