Freor, a Lithuania-based manufacturer of commercial refrigeration equipment for the food retail sector, will be exhibiting its hydrocarbon water-loop technology in Japan for the first time, at next month’s Supermarket Tradeshow 2019 (SMTS 2019), to be held in Tokyo on 13-15 February.
The company, which supplies top retailers and supermarket chains throughout Western Europe and the Nordic regions, has seen strong sales growth for its R290 (propane) systems and believes there is big potential for them to thrive in the Japanese market. (For more on Freor’s activities in Europe, see ‘In Migros’s DNA‘, autumn 2018 edition, Accelerate Europe; published by shecco, publisher of this website.)
“Freor’s sales of propane-based equipment almost doubled in 2018 compared to 2016,” said Freor Marketing Manager Jūratė Mizarė.
Mizarė said that while, “CO2 is the dominant green commercial refrigeration technology in Japan,” Freor was aiming to introduce hydrocarbon water-loop systems as an important alternative green technology, especially for smaller format stores in the country.
“We believe propane-based water-loop technology is the best commercial refrigeration choice for convenience stores, discounters and smaller supermarkets,” said Mizarė.
“Freor sales of propane-based equipment almost doubled in 2018 compared to 2016.“Jūratė Mizarė, marketing manager, Freor
Partnering with local companies
The company has partnered with a local Japanese OEM, Nihon Netsugen Systems (NNS). The two firms will jointly exhibit at SMTS 2019.
“In co-operation with our partner in the region, the respected Nihon Netsugen Systems company, our aim is to introduce the Freor brand to the Japanese market,” said Mizarė.
The company will be exhibiting its plug-in, propane-based refrigerated display showcases, multi-decks, and upright freezers from its ‘Green Wave R290’ line. In addition, the company will present its ‘Hydroloop Refrigeration System’, which uses “propane-based refrigerators in tandem with a glycol loop” to reject the heat outside of the store.
“We believe propane-based water-loop technology is the best commercial refrigeration choice for convenience stores, discounters and smaller supermarkets.“Jūratė Mizarė, marketing manager, Freor
The introduction of the technology signals yet another important step towards increasing the number of natural refrigerant-based offerings for end users in the commercial and industrial sectors that want to move away from HFCs in Japan.
Mizarė traces the the origins of the Freor/NNS partnership back in EuroShop 2017, held in Germany. “Both companies first met at the Euroshop 2017 exhibition, where Freor was presenting its environmentally-friendly refrigeration technologies for the supermarket sector,” she said.
“After getting acquainted with the solutions Freor has developed, Katsuhiko Harada, the CEO of Nihon Netsugen Systems, then decided to introduce this technology to Japan.”
NNS is a leading manufacturer of CO2 refrigeration systems for both industrial and commercial refrigeration. The company publicly debuted its CO2 Booster Super Green system last year at the FOOMA Japan 2018 exhibition.
Mizarė explained that while NNS provides CO2 systems that can be used in larger supermarkets and hypermarkets, Freor offers its “propane-based water-loop technology, which we believe is the best commercial refrigeration choice for convenience stores, discounters and smaller supermarkets”.
Amid strong sales growth, Freor is confident in the technology and believes that now is the right time to offer its hydrocarbon-based solutions to the Japanese food retail market.
“We truly believe in the potential of this technology,” said Mizarė.
“As a result of the Kigali Amendment, actions to gradually reduce the use of ozone-depleting HFCs have begun sector by sector in most countries, including Japan,” said Mizarė.
“The retail sector is looking for alternative solutions. Two alternative refrigerants that are widely available and approved by the European market are hydrocarbons, mostly for smaller convenience stores, and CO2 for larger supermarkets and hypermarkets.”
SMTS 2019: Hydrocarbon waterloop systems for Japanese food retail
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