Germany-based international wholesale specialist METRO AG is continuing the roll out of its F-Gas Exit Program (FEP), with 40 stores in a number of European countries being converted to transcritical CO2 refrigeration systems in the coming year.

The majority of the stores will be equipped with ejector technology, and Carrier will deliver the refrigeration racks.

The refurbishment plans include the first transcritical CO2 installation for Metro in Ukraine, and two in Portugal. In both countries METRO has until now been using f-gas-based technology.

Other countries included in the 2022 fiscal year’s refurbishment plans include Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Italy, Hungary, Romania, Croatia, Bulgaria, Russia, Germany, Belgium, France and Spain.

METRO is also planning to refurbish a cold storage facility in Croatia, converting it to CO2 as well.

As of April 2021, Metro had 121 stores with transcritical CO2 refrigeration, of which 30 are equipped with ejector technology. The stores are located mostly in Europe, including Russia.

“Smart repair” with hydrocarbons

METRO also installs propane (R290) low-temperature plug-in cases as part of its “smart repair” program in European stores where medium-temperature cases are running well. This is done when “the DC is leaking and in bad condition but the plus circuit is running well,” explained Olaf Schulze, Director of Energy Management at METRO Properties, the wholesaler’s real estate company.

Exchanging the equipment this way “means we can improve the quality of equipment partially, while reducing leakage and energy demand dramatically,” Schulze said. “We will exchange the plus circuit later, either isolated or as combination with deep cooling, and the HC equipment will be used in a plug-and-play-manner in a another store.”

One store in Machelen, Belgium, will be undergoing “smart repair” next year.

METRO pursuing its F-Gas Exit program

METRO has an ambitious F-Gas Exit Program (FEP), adopted in 2013, as part of its wider sustainability targets. The original goal was to reduce CO2e emissions by 50% before 2030, compared to 2011 numbers. The progress has been good so far, with METRO having managed to reduce its total CO2 emissions by 34% already.

However, METRO isn’t planning on stopping there. In July 2021, METRO upped its climate game, announcing a goal to become climate-neutral in its own operations by 2040. Ninety-three percent of METRO’s greenhouse gas emissions derive from cooling, heating and electricity, meaning the FEP is a very important part of the strategy, which is backed with planned investments of around 1.5 billion euro.

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