After striking key developments and partnerships in the past year, Germany-based heat exchanger supplier Güntner expects significant growth in CO2 systems in Japan in the next few years — especially in industrial applications.

“The focus [in Japan] for next year is really big.” said Robert Gerle, managing director for Güntner Group and CEO of Güntner Asia-Pacific (APAC), who recently spoke to along with key members of his APAC team about the prospects for CO2 in Japan.

“We want to be the number one supplier in this technology,” said Gerle.

Güntner is a global supplier of heat exchanger technology and currently has some eight to 10 thousand gas coolers installed in the market globally.

Japan a key market for CO2 technology

Güntner acknowledged that, though China was undoubtedly the largest and most interesting market in the APAC region, the Japanese market is still key in terms of its size and ability to influence technology uptake.

“In Asia, the Japan market is only behind the China market, if you’re talking about [market size],” said Hong Quang Nguyen, sales director for Güntner APAC.

“Most people don’t know that the size of the Japan market is huge,” added Gerle.

“For this industry, it should be one of the leading markets, sending the signals. That’s why we are so interested in CO2 here – because once it works in Japan, it works everywhere.”

“We want to be the number one supplier in this technology.

Robert Gerle, managing director, Güntner Group

An established market presence

Güntner has been supplying CO2 equipment in Japan for more than ten years.

“We started with cascade ammonia/COsystems for industrial applications,” said Nguyen.

“It’s not new. The majority of our CO2 units supplied in Japan were for this application.”

Currently, Güntner says they supply about 500 total CO2 units per year in Japan, including evaporators, desuperheaters and gas coolers.

In 2018, Güntner expects this number to double to 1,000 per year.

Nguyen explained that the expected increase is due mainly to the advent of transcritical CO2 use in industrial applications in Japan.

“We have started with Nihon Netsugen Systems just recently. But there seems to be very big potential. We expect very big growth in transcritical CO2 system application,” said Nguyen.

Güntner is supplying heat exchanger equipment to local Japanese system manufacturer Nihon Netsugen Systems, which, on 1 December, opened a factory to begin producing transcritical CO2 systems at a rate of about 10 to 12 per month.

Though the Japanese market has traditionally been a relatively insular market with respect to technology, this now seems to be changing as international and domestic manufacturers begin to work together more closely.

“Sitting with you next year, you will have a different picture,” said Gerle.

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