Countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the Middle East are ripe for growth in natural refrigerant systems, especially ammonia, says Danfoss president Levent Taskin.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
As the global HFC phase-down picks up pace, countries in the Middle East are also beginning to identify which alternative refrigerants will work best in their region. Danfoss’ Middle East, Africa and Turkey President Levent Taskin told R744.com that the natural refrigerant market in the region is ripe for growth.
“In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the government’s investment and participation in construction projects, stringent regulations, tendency towards usage of natural refrigerant solutions and phase-out of ozone-depleting refrigerants (ODS) are paving the way for greater superior operational standards for those operating within the [HVAC industry],” said Taskin.
Taskin cited examples of natural refrigerant use in other countries, specifically in the industrial sector including cold stores and food processing.
“All the countries in the GCC and the Middle East are using ammonia, with major installations in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Yemen and Iran,” he said.
Asked which countries he expected to see record the biggest growth in ammonia for industrial use, he replied, “Bahrain, Qatar, Iraq, Syria, Oman and the north African countries”.
Not only does he expect to see wider uptake of direct ammonia systems in the region, but cascade CO2/NH3 systems too.
“There are a few CO2/NH3 cascade systems in this region,” he added. “In countries like Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Turkey, cascade CO2/NH3 systems are being used in the frozen dairy product and poultry process and freezing industries.”
Though major obstacles remain, in terms of initial costs and the lack of skilled technicians, Taskin remained confident that natural refrigerant systems would grow in this region.
“There is a demand in the market, but there is also a lack of application and design knowledge as well as high initial costs,” he said.
Another obstacle, he added, was the lack of “local laws or directives on standards for the equipment available in the market”.
However, the growth potential remains, mainly due to three factors.
“There is a large potential for natural refrigerant growth in this region because of increased global awareness of climate change, increased restriction on CFC and HCFC refrigerants, and the growing focus on energy efficiency,” concluded Taskin.