JBG-2, a Polish manufacturer of commercial refrigeration display cases, has seen the market for CO2 (R744)-based refrigeration equipment markedly grow as more and more countries transition away from HFCs.

According to Marcin Szczecina, Sales Engineer for Commercial Refrigeration at JBG-2, supply of equipment must catch up to meet this increasing demand.

“I believe that every manufacturer has no option but to go for CO2,” he said during an interview at Chillventa 2022, which took place October 11–13 in Nuremberg, Germany. “They all have to switch to CO2, there’s no other option when it comes to remote units now.”

“I believe that every manufacturer has no option but to go for CO2.”

Marcin Szczecina, JBG-2

JBG-2 has been manufacturing refrigerated cabinets and display cases for commercial customers for 33 years and first introduced CO2 remote cases to its product portfolio in 2008. R744 now makes up around 18% of its unit sales, with the company having sold thousands of CO2 cases over the last 14 years.

“JBG-2 spearheaded natural refrigerants,” said Szczecina. “We saw the potential in it and we successfully developed it. It’s been a really great thing to do.”

The company has also recently started manufacturing CO2 condensing units following a request from one of its customers.

“On the condensing units, this actually came from our customers, specifically a food chain in Poland that required a small CO2 aggregate, which was scarcely available from other manufacturers,” explained Szczecina. “With some guidance from the customer on their needs, our research department spent a couple of years developing a small 8.5kW [2.4TR] unit.”

The condensing unit, which is designed for medium-temperature applications in convenience stores and small supermarkets, was previewed at the EuroShop trade show in Düsseldorf, Germany, in 2020 and is now available on the market.

JBG-2 has delivered around 40 of its condensing units to date, with more deliveries taking place each week. According to Szczecina, demand for the product is “growing exponentially,” and the manufacturer has ordered enough parts to make around 100 more units.

He also said that JBG-2 is currently developing a low-temperature version of the product.

Worldwide distribution

JBG-2’s products are available in 83 countries, with customers in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and North America, said Szczecina.

While demand for CO2-based equipment is rising in many parts of the world, growth has been somewhat limited in countries in the world’s hotter regions like Africa and the Middle East, said Szczecina.

Due to “issues with technology for transcritical CO2” and a lack of trained technicians, some countries like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are still requesting HFCs, he added. However, he noted that there is a shift to synthetic refrigerants and blends with a lower GWP to meet legal requirements like the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol.

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