To advance cold chain development and decarbonization, Carrier Transicold, part of Carrier Global Corporation, has agreed to collaborate with German government-based GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit) to provide in-person and virtual natural refrigerant reefer (refrigerated trailer) training, including CO2 (R744) systems, in Costa Rica and South Africa.

The agreement, signed at the 2023 UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) in the United Arab Emirates, supports GIZ’s Greener Reefers in International Maritime Transport project and Carrier’s 2030 Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) goals.

Commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, GIZ Proklima provides technical assistance for developing countries.

“We are now signing a memorandum of understanding with Carrier Transicold to promote sustainable reefer solutions, as well as improve the energy efficiency of the maritime shipping sector,” said Philipp Denzinger, Project Manager of GIZ Proklima, in a Carrier press release.

“[The collaboration] provides training to technicians for refrigerated containers using natural refrigerants, such as CO2 [R744],” Carrier Transicold said, with a focus on energy optimization and sustainable refrigeration solutions.

“We are excited to be a part of the Greener Reefers in International Maritime Transport project,” said Vineet Kashyap, Vice President and General Manager of Global Container Refrigeration at Carrier Transicold, in the press release. “We are pleased to educate others on natural refrigerant-based technology such as our NaturaLINE unit, which incorporates CO2.”

“As the first natural refrigerant-based solution ever developed for marine container shipping, the NaturaLINE unit delivers an environmentally sustainable alternative for refrigerated marine transport,” Carrier Transicold says on its website.

Greener reefers project

In a presentation at ATMOsphere (ATMO) Europe Summit 2023, held September 19–20, Denzinger highlighted the Greener Reefers in International Maritime Transport project with a call for academic, industry and political involvement to support the development of climate-friendly reefer containers and the training of technicians.

According to Carrier Transicold, roughly 1.5 million refrigerated containers ship globally, with projected growth in line with the growing global demand for perishable food and medicine.

Denzinger noted that in 2018, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) estimated reefer leaks emitted 4 million metric tons of direct CO2e emissions, with an average leak rate of 15% annually. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) strategy, which was revised on July 7 to meet protocols of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol and the Paris Agreement calls for a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in international shipping by 20‒30% by 2030 and 70‒80% by 2040 compared to 2008 and net zero by 2050.

With a budget of €2.9 million (US$3.9 million), the Greener Reefers project seeks to reduce refrigerant leakage and increase the efficiencies of conventional refrigerated containers, demonstrate the feasibility of climate-friendly options and develop global upscaling strategies for international dissemination. The project runs from April 2023 to April 2026.

Project partners include Costa Rica and South Africa, with their environmental agencies and national ozone units and ministries of transport, and the German Ministry of Environment, as political and implementing partners.

“There are solutions [for reefers], but it is very complex,” Denzinger said, adding that there is a lack of appropriately trained technicians. “We need to push from both a technical and policy stance, so the encouragement is there to meet global emissions-reduction goals.”

At the conference, Denzinger noted that the current output stage III of the project focuses on a foundation for climate-friendly containers, establishing safe handling and use of such containers and the piloting of propane (R290) reefers.

CO2 training center

This is the second collaboration announced between Carrier and GIZ. “In October, Carrier Commercial Refrigeration and GIZ agreed to set up the first regional transcritical CO2 supermarket training center in East Africa,” said Denzinger, with the center to be built in Nairobi, Kenya.

“These are exciting times, where we are moving the needle on climate progress,” he said in the Carrier Transicold press release.

In further support of its 2030 ESG goals, Carrier Transicold signed an agreement in August with Telangana State Trade Promotion Corporation to advance training and cold chain development in India. The company agreed in 2022 to develop a cold chain center in Kigali, Rwanda, and a transport training center in Accra, Ghana.

“We are pleased to educate others on natural refrigerant-based technology such as our NaturaLINE unit, which incorporates CO2.”

Vineet Kashyap, Vice President and General Manager of Global Container Refrigeration at Carrier Transicold