“Focused in developing solutions to address market demands …”

Embraco has technology for the complete domestic and commercial cold chain with portfolio for special applications also. In an exclusive interaction with Cooling India, he remarks, Covid-19 has temporarily slowed down the industry activity though it has accelerated important trends, such as the digital transformation and the initiatives for a more sustainable future

Could you provide a brief assessment on the Cooling sector in India? What is the market demand like for various cooling solutions? What is the market growth trajectory for the cooling and HVAC&R sector?

Market researches show that the refrigeration market in India has been growing around 13% annually for the last few years. It is a high and rapid growth, that is necessary to provide better infrastructure to the various links of the country’s cold chain and, thus, avoid food waste. India is among the world’s largest producers of fruits, vegetables, milk, meat, and seafood, but according to numerous sources, 40% of it is lost. One of the reasons for this is the limited cold chain infrastructure. For future, the estimates maintain this perspective of high levels of growth.

In the beginning of 2020, Indian cold chain market was expected to grow at a CAGR of around 15% during 2020-2025, according to the market research agency Report Ocean. We do not know for sure, how these numbers are going to evolve during the Covid-19 pandemic, but as soon as the recovery starts, those are the expectations of growth for the refrigeration sector in India.

Nidec Global Appliance, provides the Indian market our Embraco portfolio of cooling solutions for the whole Indian cold chain, which means solutions for commercial and residential refrigerators, including a big participation in the market of cooling solutions for merchandisers. From our experience with the Indian market, the growth trajectory of the refrigeration sector is driven towards quality, adaptability to voltage fluctuations, competitiveness, sustainability and energy efficiency.

It is a market with a great potential for solutions, and for commercial refrigeration equipment running on natural refrigerant R290, which fits perfectly with our Embraco brand portfolio, because it is a brand that has been a pioneer in developing solutions with natural refrigerants for over 25 years. To better serve the Indian market, we have a local Technical Support and Sales team, partnerships with local laboratories as well as training sessions to customers, about our products and innovations.

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

Assessing market for refrigerants in India, how do you fare when compared to international market? What is the kind of market demand for refrigerants and solutions?

Considering the international market, so far 98 parties (among them the European Union) have signed the Kigali Amendment, an international agreement established in 2016 to gradually reduce the consumption and production of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which have been widely used as refrigerants in refrigeration during the 1990s and 2000s but have been found to be powerful greenhouse gases.

So, globally, regarding refrigerants the market demand is for alternative options with low global warming potential. In this search for alternatives, natural refrigerants have been considered the best way forward, for a combination of environmental and economic gains. Natural refrigerants have GWP very close to zero and can add  around 10% to 15% benefit in energy efficiency, according to the application.

Among the natural refrigerants options, hydrocarbons (HCs) R600a and R290 are the main ones for domestic refrigerators and light commercial refrigeration equipment, respectively. India has not signed the Kigali Amendment yet, but the Indian government has been encouraging the refrigeration industry to develop more sustainable solutions, with lower global warming potential (GWP), so we see a great potential for solutions with natural refrigerants in the Indian market.

Additionally, the large global food and beverage brands have already transitioned a big portion, if not all of their refrigeration cabinets to HC (hydrocarbon) refrigerants as a path to reduce their carbon footprint. And, India being a relevant industrial hub has already adjusted to these global needs, opening the door for this kind of solution to the local market. Our portfolio of Embraco cooling solutions for India has a complete range of options in R290 and R600a for the various types of applications in commercial and domestic refrigeration. In addition to this, Embraco is still one of the leaders of the R134a market, delivering reliable and robust solutions, including wide-voltage range compressors. In the long term point of view, we believe that natural refrigerants are the most compliant way to fulfil society’s and customer’s interests.

Part 2 will be continued in next issue of Cooling India.