GUIDE China: NH3 technology has significant growth potential in industrial refrigeration

By Caixia Mao, Jun 02, 2015, 10:21 2 minute reading

On 20th of May, shecco launched the first ever in-depth report on China’s natural refrigerant market, in cooperation with the Chinese Association of Refrigeration (CAR). The report collected survey 1,098 survey responses as well as exclusive interviews with government agencies, academia, leading end users and industry leaders in China. For industrial refrigeration, the report concludes that although well established, the market for ammonia refrigeration technology has significant growth po

The ‘GUIDE to Natural Refrigerants in China – State of the Industry 2015‘ demonstrates the clear progress the Chinese market has already achieved when it comes to the adoption of natural refrigerants. In the cold chain, ammonia and CO2 technology is expected to gain market share due to the rapid increase in cold storage capacity.
Ammonia: a standard solution for industrial refrigeration in China 
Ammonia has been used in industrial applications in China for over 60 years, and today more than 30,000 companies work with ammonia as a refrigerant in China. To illustrate the various applications that rely on NH3 the GUIDE features “ecosystems” that use eye-catching graphics. These depict the wide variety of sectors that use ammonia in both heating and cooling, ranging from industrial processing, to power plants to food processing.  
One of the fastest growing sectors for ammonia is the Chinese cold chain, which is experiencing rapid growth due to new investments aimed at ensuring food safety and avoiding food waste. During 2008 - 2014, China was estimated to have experienced a 34.67% compound annual growth rate in refrigeration warehouse capacity. By 2017, China will likely surpass the capacity of the U.S. cold chain, which is currently at 115 million m3 of space.
What is more, of the 1,098 GUIDE survey respondents, 24% confirmed that they provide and/or use ammonia in their HVAC&R activities. 
Future challenges and business opportunities
According to 77% of GUIDE survey respondents, natural refrigerant use in industrial refrigeration will either increase “significantly” or “slightly” in China by 2020, thus ammonia refrigeration represents an important business opportunity. 
However, the number of trained personnel is currently insufficient to meet demand in the rapidly growing cold chain. Unless addressed, this will negatively impact safety. Already, over half of some 70 accidents in the past five years can be attributed to a failure in maintenance operations. To this end, the Chinese government is introducing specific measures and regulations to improve safety, such as the Safety code for cold Stores (GB28009-2011), adopted in 2012.
The need to improve safety also represents an opportunity for companies to introduce the state of art technology, such as automatic control systems, low-ammonia charge systems and NH3/CO2 systems. 
NH3/CO2 in particular is a promising sector. By the end of March 2015, CO2 will have been used in more than 30 projects in China, from ice making facilities and cold storages through to meat, aquatic products and prepared food processing. In the majority of facilities, CO2 is used as a secondary coolant or as a low stage refrigerant in cascade systems with ammonia.
Available for free - Chinese edition coming soon
In the near future the Chinese Association of Refrigeration (CAR) will be helping shecco to make a Chinese language version the ‘GUIDE to Natural Refrigerants in China – State of the Industry 2015’ available for free on shecco's publications page.


By Caixia Mao

Jun 02, 2015, 10:21

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