In Europe, the EU’s F-Gas Regulation and Norway’s tax on HFCs – along with the phase-out of the HCFC R22 – are increasing costs for fisheries and fish processing facilities. Norway’s fishing industry is turning to CO2 as a solution.

Speaking at the Sustainable Management Of Refrigeration Technologies in the Marine And Off-Shore Fisheries Sectors conference in Bangkok, Thailand, Martin Corneliussen – a project engineer at Norwegian firm Kuldeteknisk – said: “In Norway there is increasing demand for RSW [refrigerated sea water] systems [on board vessels] using CO2.”

Compared to a traditional HFC or HCFC-based RSW system, the CO2 system is very energy efficient. “A [coefficient of performance] COP up to five is measured,” Corneliussen told the UNEP, ASHRAE, IIR and UNIDO-hosted event.

“In Norway there is increasing demand for RSW [refrigerated sea water] systems [on board vessels] using CO2.

Martin Corneliussen, Kuldeteknisk

Prices of CO2 systems are somewhat higher than HFC systems, but he is confident that as volume increases manufacturing costs will soon decrease substantially.

For a medium-sized trawler with on-board production and which captures around 3,000 tons of fish per year, Trømso-based Kuldeteknisk has developed the SuperFreeze. “It is a robust and fully automatic operation,” says Corneliussen. 

This system allows for freezing at -50°C and freezes 25% faster than using the HCFC R22. The quicker freezing time helps increase the quality of the product and increases the amount of fish processed as well, according to Corneliussen.

Kuldeteknisk has delivered several such systems to Norwegian and Danish vessels and hopes to install more.

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