In a move that could lead to wider uptake of natural refrigerant-based cooling solutions in the maritime sector, Maersk Line, the world’s largest container shipping company, has begun testing 100 refrigerated shipping containers fitted with Carrier Transicold’s NaturaLINE CO2 refrigeration system at the port of Santa Marta in Colombia.
Back in March, Maersk Line ordered the first 100 of a total of 200 such containers. The shipping giant will initially deploy the units on closed-loop routes between Europe and the Americas.
The use of the NaturaLINE natural refrigerant systems is an important part of Maersk Line’s larger corporate sustainability initiative to reduce its CO2 emissions per container moved by 60% by 2020 (compared to 2007 levels).
“To meet our sustainability goals and stay ahead of the new EU legislation, Maersk Line is keen to carefully evaluate all alternatives to the current synthetic refrigerants,” said Ingrid Uppelschoten-Snelderwaard, head of global equipment, Maersk Line.
“The NaturaLINE system is an advanced technology with interesting potential for reefers. We chose it after laboratory testing of the unit’s performance with perishable and frozen commodities and look forward to gaining further operational experience with the system,” she said.
The choice of Santa Marta as the pilot terminal reflects the Colombian port’s importance for handling refrigerated cargo.
“To meet our sustainability goals and stay ahead of the new EU legislation, Maersk Line is keen to carefully evaluate all alternatives to the current synthetic refrigerants.”Ingrid Uppelschoten-Snelderwaard, Maersk Line
About the NaturaLINE system
Carrier Transicold’s NaturaLINE system is the first container refrigeration system to use CO2.
It has already demonstrated that it is an environmentally sustainable alternative for overseas shipping of perishable goods. First made commercially available at Intermodal Europe 2013, the NaturaLINE system has logged tens of thousands of service hours in testing and hundreds of thousands of nautical miles for customers.
The system includes several innovations:
- Purpose-built, multi-stage compressor with variable speed drive to maximise capacity and minimise power consumption.
- Gas cooler with a wrap-around design and optimized heat transfer surfaces.
- Flash tank heat exchanger to maximise cooling performance.
Operational temperatures varied from set points ranging from -22 to 13 degrees Celsius on Atlantic and Pacific routes of a duration of 4-29 days.
Optimised to provide energy efficiency over a range of performance conditions, the NaturaLINE unit significantly reduces on-board power generation requirements, saving on fuel consumption and reducing operational costs.