Latin American logistics company Emergent Cold, a subsidiary of U.S.-based Lineage Logistics, is encouraging other end users to stop “fleeing from the real costs” of traditional refrigerants like HFCs.
According to Moisés Ventocilla, the company’s Director of Engineering, decisionmakers need to consider the lifecycle costs and wider impact of a refrigeration system, not just initial capital expenditure.
“In LATAM, the investment cost is always the most important driver of decision making,” he said. “However, it’s in our best interest to consider other elements that generate value, like sustainability.”
Additional factors to consider include energy consumption, maintenance and servicing costs, water use, greenhouse gas emissions, training requirements and refrigerant recharging and costs.
Ventocilla delivered these remarks during his presentation in the End Users Panel session at the ATMOsphere (ATMO) LATAM Summit 2023. The conference took place November 8–9 in Mexico City and was organized by ATMOsphere, publisher of R744.com.
According to his presentation, HFCs represent around 18% of Emergent’s refrigerant stock. The remaining 82% are natural refrigerants such as ammonia (R717) and CO2 (R744).
“In LATAM, the investment cost is always the most important driver of decision making. However, it’s in our best interest to consider other elements that generate value, like sustainability.”Moisés Ventocilla, Emergent Cold
In addition to investing in new projects and expanding existing facilities, Emergent also invests in acquiring other companies across the LATAM market. With these acquisitions come a host of data, which has provided valuable insights on the lifecycle costs of different refrigeration systems, explained Ventocilla.
For natural refrigerant-based systems, the investment cost accounts for roughly 18% of all expenses over its 20-year lifetime. The remaining 82% were operational costs, such as energy and maintenance.
For systems using Freon, the data indicated that while overall costs were similar, energy costs made up a more significant portion of expenditure compared to natural refrigerants.
“With this data, we identified that for new projects and expansions, [we should] use natural refrigerants,” he added.
A sustainable cold chain
To reduce its carbon footprint, Emergent has developed a sustainability strategy that focuses both on its direct (Scope 1) emissions from refrigerants and its indirect (Scope 2) emissions from energy consumption.
Efforts to reduce its emissions include transitioning away from Freon and other HFCs across its portfolio, investing in clean energy, and enhancing energy efficiency in its facilities, Ventocilla said.
In 2023, the company reduced its Scope 1 emissions by 10tCO2e and its Scope 2 emissions by 4tCO2e.
To support a more sustainable cold chain in LATAM, Emergent is committed to investing more in its staff – in terms of training – and adopting technologies that can help reduce its energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
During his presentation, Ventocilla called on more governments to offer financial incentives like tax rebates to accelerate the transition to sustainable technologies and natural refrigerants.