Replacement of R404A in supermarkets
R404A is particularly targeted by the EU F-gas Regulation and many refrigerant producers announced important price rises. Various option can be considered to replace it.
Several supermarket chains and retailers have recently announced decisions regarding the replacement of R404A refrigerant. R404A, due to its high GWP (3,922), is particularly targeted by the EU F-gas Regulation and many refrigerant producers announced important price rises (Chemours, Mexichem) or stop sale from now (RSL) or from 2018 (Honeywell; see IIR Newsletter No. 71). Various options are considered such as CO2, R448A and R449A.
- German supermarket chain Aldi announced in August it intends to convert all its UK stores to use CO2 refrigeration. Up to 100 of its stores are set to be converted by the end of 2018, at a cost of around EUR 23 million. Aldi previously announced it had reached the landmark of 1,000 transcritical CO2 installations and that 54% of its stores were already using CO2 systems.
German retail giant Metro AG will install its first CO2 transcritical system in China later this year. Metro is also currently installing new CO2 transcritical systems in stores in France, Spain, Germany and Austria.
- In US, Wisconsin-based supermarket chain Festival Foods has opted to replace R404A with R448A, a non-flammable (A1) refrigerant blend of HFOs and HFCs with a GWP of 1,273. Festival Food, which had evaluated two options, CO2 transcritical systems and R448A near drop-in replacement solution, rejected CO2 due to “the lack of trained technicians and concerns about the safety at high pressures”.
- In Thailand, leading Thai retailer Tesco Lotus, part of the Tesco Group, is also aiming to ditch R404A throughout its 1,500 Express stores in favour of R448A.
- Tesco also announced it is to convert in three years more than 1,200 existing stores across the UK from R404A to R448A.
- Finally, in UK, Waitrose has selected R449A (HFO-HFC blend, GWP= 1,397) to retrofit its Holsworthy supermarket.
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