Report shows mature and stable market for ammonia refrigeration

By Sabine Lobnig, Feb 22, 2012, 16:05 3 minute reading

According to results from a global industry survey that received over 1,254 responses, the overall business and policy climate for ammonia is rated as stable by 77% of respondents. However, by 2020 40% of respondents believe the natural refrigerant market share overall will rise to “more than 50%”.

Based on data from a leading refrigerant supplier with a global presence, ammonia sales and volumes has shown only modest growth over the last few years, with reported increases of 6% in sales and 3% in volumes respectively. This data corroborate the survey findings reported in the “GUIDE 2012” published by shecco, showing ammonia as a mature and established technology. 
Business and policy climate stable for ammonia but training and safety still barriers to uptake
Whilst overall the business and policy climate for natural refrigerants as a whole is rated a “rather positive” by 46% of respondents, for ammonia the majority of responses, namely 40%, indicate the situation as “not moving in any direction”. This is an indication of the largely saturated NH3 market for industrial applications.
With regard to the barriers to the adoption of natural refrigerants, survey results revealed the following:
  • 58% of respondents think that “lack of training and know-how” is a “strong” to “very strong barrier”
  • 49% of respondents think that “technology and safety” is a “strong to “very strong barrier”
Rated as slightly less important barriers were “psychology”, “markets” and “legislation”.
Expectations for natural refrigerants in industrial refrigeration high
Europe’s natural refrigerant industry expects the market share of industrial refrigeration equipment using CO2, hydrocarbons and ammonia to increase substantially over the coming years. According to the survey results:
  • Today 12% of the 128 respondents working in the field believe the market share to be “more than 50%”
  • By 2015 20% of respondents believe the market share will rise to “more than 50%”
  • By 2020 40% of respondents believe the natural refrigerant market share will rise to “more than 50%”
State of technology
An evaluation of the current state of ammonia technology shows that ammonia refrigeration is an established technology in the subsequent applications:
  • Cold storage
  • Distributions centres
  • Food processing refrigeration plants
  • Ice making plants
  • Ice rinks
  • Chemical, process and pharmaceutical industry refrigeration and air conditioning
  • Supermarket central refrigeration plants
  • Mine air conditioning
  • Large commercial and public building air conditioning
  • Industrial heat pumps for dairies, breweries and district heating
  • Fishing trawlers
HVAC&R survey: higher level of awareness about natural refrigerants among suppliers than customers 
Respondents to the HVAC&R industry survey were asked about their levels of awareness of natural refrigerants’ characteristics, and about levels of awareness among the HVAC&R industry as a whole and among customers, with the following results:
  • 73% of respondents are either “highly informed” or “well informed”
  • 29% of respondents believe customers are “highly informed” or “well informed”
  • 26% of respondents believe the HVAC&R industry as a whole is highly informed” or “well informed”
Overall, levels of awareness about natural refrigerants indicate that whilst there is a high level of awareness among system suppliers and manufacturers, end-users lack information about natural refrigerants.

More information
Download page: GUIDE 2012: Natural Refrigerants - Market Growth for Europe


By Sabine Lobnig

Feb 22, 2012, 16:05

Related stories

Sign up to our Newsletter

Fill in the details below