Last month (7 February), Belgian employers’ organisation Agoria awarded the ‘Factory of the Future’ award to a ‘Fine Food’ meat processing facility belonging to Belgian retailer the Colruyt Group, which uses a CO2 subciritical system and an ammonia refrigeration and heat pump system. 

Colruyt Fine Food’s meat processing facility, located in Buizingen, near Belgian capital Brussels, opened in September 2016.

Agoria praised the Belgium-based retailer for its use of green technology from a wind turbine that processes and recycles rain and wastewater for drinking water to clean equipment and prepare meat.

In making the ‘Factory of the Future’ award, Agoria also cited Colyrut’s “high level of employee involvement” and “the skills of employees”.

In addition to using CO2 heat pumps for hot water production in its stores, in France some of Colruyt’s independently operated stores use CO2 for refrigeration according to Collin Bootsveld, a project engineer at Colruyt. 

“We are indeed using CO2 in France because propane, the way we use it in Belgium, is not available in the French market yet,” Bootsveld said. “An important consideration is that in France, maintenance is primarily done externally, whereas in Belgium, the Colruyt Group has its’ own maintenance technicians. Also, this gives the Group the opportunity to experiment and learn to work with both solutions.”

Recently, Japanese company SANDEN’s CO2 condensing units (CDUs) were installed at a fully refurbished 400m² Coccinelle (a brand of Codifrance, an independent retailer that is part of the Colruyt Group) store located in Luneray in northwestern France. This is the first time Coccinelle has installed a CO2 CDU, according to SANDEN. 

“The contractor has commissioned a rooftop installation of two SANDEN condensing units, the first one connected to a MT self-service showcase and the second one to a MT self-service showcase,” SANDEN said on its website. “Thanks to its very low noise level standing at 49 dB(A) at one metre, equivalent to the noise of a running dishwasher, SANDEN delivers the ideal solution to residential areas.”

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