Marking the official debut of transcritical CO2 technology in China’s commercial retail market, METRO China celebrated the opening of its first transcritical CO2 store in Beijing, China on 17 January.

The wholesale store is the first in China to be fitted with a transcritical CO2 system.

The store is located in Lishuiqiao, a major business district and up-and-coming residential area with a population of one million in the northern part of Beijing.

The store’s fresh sales area, freezer room, cold room, and prep room are entirely cooled by a centralised transcritical CO2 rack system.

The transcritical system utilises parallel compression, waste heat, and two-stage gas cooling.

The project marks a very successful close co-operation between on-the-ground local Chinese teams and overseas companies regarding the installation and commissioning of transcritical systems in China.

Italy-based CO2 system supplier SCM Frigo supplied the transcritical CO2 system. Controls were provided by CAREL, with gas coolers provided by Güntner.

German-based MAJA supplied the ice-maker.

Local expertise backed by European know-how

The contractor selected for the project was Shanghai Fute Refrigeration & Electrical Engineering Co, Ltd (FUTE).

The local Chinese company specialises in CO2, having already successfully completed 15 subcritical CO2 cascade system installations in China to date.

“FUTE started to design, install and work with CO2 as a refrigerant from 2010 when it successfully completed the design, installation and commissioning for the first CO2 refrigeration system for Tesco,” said FUTE owner David Zhang.

FUTE’s close collaboration with the project’s overseas suppliers played a key role in the success of the transcritical system’s installation and commissioning.

“The FUTE team and the overseas companies worked seamlessly together on the METRO project,” said Zhang.

“During the life of the project, our overseas colleagues shared with us their insights and experience of their work with CO2 technology. Their guidance at each stage of the project proved invaluable to us, as CO2 technology has been successfully adopted in Europe for a much longer time than China.”

METRO AG F-Gas Exit Program driving China strategy

The opening of METRO China’s first transcritical CO2 store is a key milestone in the company’s global initiative to phase-out f-gases in their stores worldwide.

METRO AG’s F-Gas Exit program, established in 2013, aims to phase-out f-gases, replacing them with natural refrigerant systems, in their stores worldwide by 95% by 2030.

Currently, the company is installing CO2 systems globally at a rate of thirty per year.

In China, the retailer has already installed 28 subcritical systems.

The company now aims to use this first store as a blue print to move forward with their F-Gas Exit Program in the country.

Led by a highly driven and determined METRO China team, the opening of the first transcritical CO2 store is set to spearhead the adoption of natural refrigerant technology not only within METRO China stores, but also within the wider commercial refrigerant market in China.

This website visited the store and spoke in-depth with the METRO China team as well as the local contractor and overseas suppliers about this milestone project. For more on this, check out the inaugural issue of Accelerate China, coming this April.

Representatives from METRO China are scheduled to speak about this project in-depth at ATMO China 2018. Be sure to register by clicking here.

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