Energy: Curaçao


GTI Awards 2019 – Energy

Owac: Ocean Water Assisted Cooling, Curaçao

General information:

Island (Region, Province, Country):


Budget / cost of the project:


Project objectives:

We have developed OWAC, Ocean Water Assisted Cooling. OWAC cools buildings, clusters of buildings and district with the use of ocean water. It brings down energy costs for cooling with 75%!! in a 100% sustainable way. OWAC received in 2017 the ‘Energy Engineer of the Year’ award for the Latin American region. In the Caribbean region only, of the total energy bill about 70% is for cooling. OWAC is now operational since 6 years in the building of the Ministry of Finance in Willemstad Curaçao. We started marketing last year. OWAC is suitable for airports, hotels, offices, shopping malls, industrial companies, naval bases, villaparks, residential areas, ect. OWAC is mentioned in the islands government ‘Energy Policy’.


Project description of activities and specific interventions:

At the moment we have 1 OWAC plant operational on Curaçao in the Ministry of Finance for 6 years. Cost for cooling energy went down from USD 240.000,- to USD 90.000,- Cooperations are prepared with: 3 hotels, the airport, naval base, ecological greenhouse, shrimpfarm, shopping mall, data center and more. There are 2 requests to build business cases for hotels in Cuba, there is 1 Jamaican developer preparing to implement OWAC.


Public outreach, education and awareness efforts and results:

Newspaper, social media, OWAC conference 31 october.


Economic value added and how calculated:

Economic value is pretty easy but a general figure. OWAC makes end user save 75% on the energy costs for cooling which is normally 70% of the total energy bill. The return on investment on average is 2-3 years. Latest calculation for a 13.000m2 hotel on Curacao showed that their r.o.i. will be 1,7 years.
OWAC is NOT deepsea cooling. We only need a 1 meter pipe into the ocean. The OWAC technology is worldbreaking and has been developed in 13 years to solve problems that other systems have. OWAC is very affordable and therefor very flexibel. It can be used for 1 single building of 1000 m2 upto districts of buildings. Inventor is Engineer Mr. Tony van Sprang from Curacao, CEO of Omega Engineering.


Ecological and social project outcomes:

Ecological outcome is evident, less emission. OWAC leaves no damage to flora and fauna (OWAC is 100% sustainable)

Social outcome will mean more jobs, not only due to the OWAC installation that needs to be maintained but also spin off and new projects where OWAC can play a significant roll like greenhouses (very low cost cooling year round means growing crop that have not grown there before which means lower prices in supermarkets and crop to export instead of having expensive import).