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Engie JV will manage expanding Paris cooling network

FRANCE: A company jointly-owned by Engie (85%) and transport company RATP (15%) has been awarded a 20-year concession to manage the Paris district cooling network.

In a new 20-year deal, the company, Fraîcheur de Paris, will manage the production, storage, transport and distribution of the city’s cooling energy.

The largest district cooling scheme in Europe, the Paris network will be nearly tripled in size during the contract period, from its current 86km of underground pipes to 244km. With a projected turnover of €2.4bn throughout the life of the contract, the network will be extended to serve new clients in all Paris arrondissements by 2042. 

Operated since 1991 by ClimeSpace (a wholly-owned Engie subsidiary) and initially intended to air-condition commercial buildings (cultural sites and retail areas), the new network will be extended to include cooling for hospitals, nurseries, schools, nursing homes, etc, covering 300 additional  healthcare buildings. The service will also be aimed at local shops, establishments open to the public, and – additionally – a few housing units in the residential sector.

The system operates in a closed circuit with two conduits – one for conveying the 5°C chilled water to the users and the other for the return of 15°C water to the generation plants.

To support the extended network an additional 20 new production plants and 10 storage facilities will be built to supply over 3,000 users.

The network has been running on 100% renewable electricity since 2013 and has been carbon-neutral since 2018. With its extension to the whole of Paris, it will increase its contribution to the city’s goal of carbon neutrality by 2050.

Over the lifetime of the concession, 300,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions are expected to be abated. Nearly 70% of the energy will be supplied from four new dedicated solar farms and an increased amount of water from the river Seine will be used in winter.

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