Following the Japanese government’s decision in July to deregulate the use of CO2, domestic and international suppliers are gearing up to satisfy increased demand for CO2 in larger systems in the coming years. spoke to Hidenori Hattori of Saginomiya and Alen Perasic of Danfoss A/S about their outlook on CO2 use in Japan.

“Demand for CO2 is expected to expand from the current small units to medium-sized units with cooling capacities over 20HP,” said Hattori.

Leveraging global and local CO2 knowledge

Local CO2 component supplier Saginomiya Seisakusho, Inc. has partnered with global CO2 component supplier Danfoss to promote CO2 solutions in Japan.

The two companies have been working together in Japan for a long time, and see now as a good time to leverage their collective CO2 system experience and knowledge.

“Saginomiya sells CO2 components produced by Saginomiya and Danfoss for the Japanese market,” said Hattori.

The two companies believe that as the market for CO2 in medium and large systems opens up in Japan, they will be ready to supply their components for all system sizes.

“We assume that the movement [of CO2 use] to small and medium cold storage warehouses will become more active,” said Hattori.

Danfoss, which is soon to hit 10,000 CO2 installations worldwide, is ready to use its knowledge and experience to support the partnership with Saginomiya in promoting CO2 use in Japan.

“All this experience, R&D, production programme and infrastructure, Saginomiya and Danfoss – partners with long-term history – will jointly apply to the Japanese market,” said Perasic.

“Demand for CO2 is expected to expand from the current small units to medium-sized units with cooling capacities over 20HP.

Hidenori Hattori, Saginomiya 

Initial cost barrier

Hattori concedes, however, that larger CO2 transcritical booster systems are less common in Japan than they are in Europe – though the company is ready to supply components for both.

“It is possible for us to promote Saginomiya products for small units, and Danfoss products for large units,” said Hattori.

Additionally, Hattori added that the increase will be held back in the short-term as significant barriers remain.

“The initial cost of such equipment is higher than fluorocarbon equipment, and further, there are challenges in improving the technical knowledge and service of CO2 equipment,” he said.

The reinstatement of natural refrigerant subsidies in 2018, however, is expected to help remove the initial cost burden for many end users.

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