Agustín Maranca, from Estudio Maranca, explained during ATMOsphere Iberica’s first edition the latest updates on existing CO<sub>2</sub> technologies and future projects in Argentina.
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Agustín Maranca, a mechanical engineer at the National Technological University of Argentina explained how Argentina is moving towards refrigeration solutions based on natural refrigerant CO<sub>2</sub> within the country’s current economical and political context during ATMOsphere Ibérica, which took place on 24 October in Madrid, Spain.
<strong>National Cabinet for Climate Change</strong>
In the international context, Argentina has ratified the Montreal Protocol and its amendments, as well as the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement.
The National Cabinet for Climate Change was created in 2016 to help develop environment policy and to create the National Adjustment Plan, scheduled for launch in 2019.
Argentina is in Group 1 of the Article 5 countries signed up to the Kigali Amendment, and is therefore required to begin phasing down HFCs in 2029.
<strong>Economic perspective: increase of HFC prices and energy bills</strong>
The most commonly used refrigerants in Argentina are R404A and R22. “These refrigerants have increased in price, currently reaching five times the price of CO<sub>2</sub> refrigerant,” said Maranca, who has over 30 years of experience in the HVAC&R sector and is refrigeration chair in ASHRAE’s Argentina chapter.
Until 2015, up to 85% of total energy costs were subsidised by the government, while companies were responsible for the remaining 15%.
“This was a clear barrier to implement more efficient solutions,” said Maranca.
Last year, subsidies were reduced from 85% to 30%. This year they will drop to 10% and to 0% in 2019.
“This has served as a wake-up call for companies that are now starting looking for solutions to decrease costs and become more energy-efficient,” he said.
Maranca is CEO of Estudio Maranca, an engineering consultancy that develops projects in air conditioning and refrigeration for the country’s main supermarket chains, including Carrefour, Walmart, Cencosud-Jumbo Retail and Makro Argentina.
<strong>CO<sub>2</sub> installations in Argentina</strong>
Argentina has a variety of climate conditions. While there is only one CO<sub>2</sub> subcritical installation in the country, at a Walmart Caseros store, CO<sub>2</sub> transcritical systems are becoming more popular. Today there are six transcritical CO<sub>2</sub>systems running and a few more projects in the pipeline, including the first system in a warm climate zone.
The six CO<sub>2</sub> transcritical systems are the following:
<li>SAIEP Caleta Olivia</li>
<li>SAIEP Lago Puelo</li>
<li>Carrefour Maxi Ezpeleta</li>
<li>SAIEP Cinco Saltos</li>
<li>SAIEP Cutral Co</li>
Upcoming new stores include:
<li>Vital Pilar wholesale</li>
<li>Alvear Santa Fe Supermarkets</li>
Two more transcritical projects are in the first phase of development and will be opened in 2018:
<li>Carrefour Maxi Tortuguitas</li>
<li>Carrefour Buenos Aires</li>
<a href="http://www.r744.com/articles/7570/mayekawa_installs_argentina_s_first_ammonia_co2_system" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The first ammonia-CO<sub>2</sub> brine system in Argentina was installed by Mayekawa at a Carrefour distribution centre in Isidro Casanova.</a>
“We need education in schools and mass communication campaigns, and to create plans to incentivise companies to implement this type of technology, such as tax benefits, to favour energy-efficient solutions,” remarked Maranca, pointing to the need to raise awareness of natural refrigerant technologies in the country.
Offering training for installers and maintenance technicians could help the rollout of CO<sub>2</sub> technologies in Argentina, he added.
“In Argentina there is no training available. The closest training centre is in Brazil, by Bitzer,” Maranca lamented.
Source: <a href="http://www.r744.com" target="_blank" rel="noopener">www.r744.com</a>