Panasonic Corporation today announced it has supplied its CO2 refrigerant-based condensing unit to the Mutiara Tropicana store of Malaysian supermarket chain Jaya Grocer as its first supermarket customer for such systems outside Japan. Panasonic Commercial Equipment Systems Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of Panasonic Corporation, developed the fluorocarbon-free condensing unit and supplied through its local sales agent Coolcare (M) Sdn. Bhd. It was assisted with the funding provided under the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol by the Department of Environment of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Malaysia (NRE).
Supermarket and convenience store operators are faced with the challenges of cutting power consumption of refrigeration and freezer systems in their stores as well as reducing environmental impact from the refrigerants used in such systems. Amid growing awareness of greenhouse effect of fluorocarbons, CO2 refrigerant is drawing attention as a next-generation refrigerant. Compared to hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFC) and hydrofluorocarbons (HFC) currently used in most stores, natural CO2 refrigerant has an ozone depletion potential (ODP) of zero and the extremely small global warming potential (GWP) of 1/1,430 to 1/3,920.
Panasonic started verification testing of fluorocarbon-free condensing units using CO2 refrigerant in 2009. Since September 2010 to date, the company has supplied around 6,000 units to Japanese retail companies, while promoting its environmentally friendly condensing units in other countries.
Malaysia, which has ratified the Paris Agreement, is tackling the global warming problem at a national level, with the government and private sectors working together to phase out the use of fluorocarbon refrigerants. As part of these efforts, Panasonic's CO2 condensing unit was recognized by the Malaysian government as a technology that helps mitigate climate change. Also taken into consideration in determining the subsidy eligibility included the company's track record in supplying natural refrigerant condensing units to supermarkets and convenience stores in Japan, its high share of supermarket display cases in Malaysia, and its active involvement in the promotion of natural refrigerants.
In Malaysia, Panasonic is also involved in activities to spread the use of natural refrigerants through fostering a better understanding of them. On March 23, the company held a seminar on fluorocarbon-free condensing units for local university faculty and construction personnel in cooperation with NRE. Panasonic will continue to support the country's efforts against global warming by offering its technology and experience in this area.
With its innovative CO2 condensing units, Panasonic supports supermarket and convenience store operators and at the same time takes the lead in promoting natural refrigerants in the global food distribution industry to help preserve the environment.
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