Japan: 33 new natural refrigerant cold stores thanks to government subsidies

By Alexandra Maratou, Jul 17, 2014, 10:29 2 minute reading

Thirty-one companies have been selected to receive subsidies from the Japanese government for 33 cold store projects to be equipped with ammonia and CO2 based refrigeration systems. Japanese end users can benefit from a total of €36 million in subsidies for natural refrigerant technology in fiscal year 2014, with a second project selection round open until 8 August 2014.

On 11 July 2014, Japan’s Refrigerants and Environmental Conservation Organisation (JRECO) announced the first projects selected under the investment grant scheme of the Ministry of Environment (MOE), which will provide a total of €36 million in fiscal year 2014 in subsidies for incentivising natural refrigerants. As a result, in the next six months Japanese cold store operators as well as food processing companies will be adding 33 cold store facilities using natural refrigerants.

33 new cold stores with natural refrigerants by 2015

Advanced ammonia and CO2 based refrigeration systems from Japanese suppliers such as Mayekawa or Toyo Engineering Works are going to be installed in 33 cold stores and food processing facilities across Japan. Among the 31 selected companies are some of Japan' most famous as well as global brands:
  • Meiji, the 5th largest confectionery company in the world
  • Baskin-Robbins, the world's largest chain of ice cream specialty shops
  • Kewpie, Japanese company manufacturing and processing various types of food products
  • Takaki Bakery, Japanese bakery based in Hiroshima, Japan
  • Maruha Nichiro, Japanese seafood company
  • Sanmaruko Foods
  • Nishimatsu

249 new CO2 convenience stores and supermarkets by 2015

In addition to cold store operators, 18 food retailers have received the subsidy to install 249 stores with CO2 refrigeration technology. Among them are major convenience store chains Lawson (211 stores), 7-Eleven (11 stores), Ministop (7 stores) or Circle K Sankus (2 stores) as well as leading supermarket brands AEON and MaxValu (5 SM) or Coop Sapporo, U Co-op and Miyagi Coop. CO2 technology will also be installed in three stores by Ito-Yokado, a Japanese general merchandise store, part of Seven & i Holdings.

Second project selection round open now for applications until 8 August 2014

During a second project selection round, Japanese facility operators can apply for additional subsidies for investing in natural refrigerant technologies.

The ministry is currently accepting applications from operators until 8 August 2014.

Background: 36 million in subsidies for natural refrigerant technology

In 2013, the Ministry of the Environment outlined the government subsidy scheme encouraging operators to use natural refrigerants. From fiscal year 2014 the budget of the programme has increased significantly to a total of 5 billion yen (about €36.4 million) to support the use of natural refrigerants in:
  • Retail store showcases, covering 1/3 of investment cost;
  • Refrigerated warehouses, covering 50% of investment cost;
  • Other refrigeration and AC equipment – covering 1/3 of the cost difference between natural refrigerant equipment and equivalent HFC-based one. 


By Alexandra Maratou

Jul 17, 2014, 10:29

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