In a move that could trigger wider adoption of natural refrigerant-based cooling solutions in the maritime sector, Maersk Line, the world’s largest container shipping company, has ordered the first 100 of a total of 200 refrigerated shipping containers using Carrier Transicold’s NaturaLINE CO2 refrigeration system.

The NaturaLINE units are being installed on 40-foot high-cube containers with anticipated delivery in the first quarter. Maersk Line will initially deploy the units on closed-loop routes between Europe and the Americas. Crew and landside training on unit operation and service is already underway. The use of the NaturaLINE natural refrigerant systems are an important part of Maersk Line’s larger corporate sustainability initiative to reduce their 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.

“We are pleased that Maersk Line sees potential in the NaturaLINE unit to help it achieve its ambitious sustainability goals.

David Appel, president, Carrier Transicold & Refrigeration Systems.

Carrier is looking forward to working with Maersk Line to improve the system still further.  “Carrier shares Maersk Line’s goals of improving the efficiency and sustainability of global container shipping, which protects the world’s perishable food supply and other goods as they move through the cold chain to the consumer,” said David Appel, president, Carrier Transicold & Refrigeration Systems.  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.

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