News from Korea
The Korean refrigeration and air-conditioning industry is the 4th largest in the world after the United States, China and Japan with USD 14.5 billion annual production in 2006, a figure equivalent to 10.7% of global production. The refrigeration and air-conditioning industry grew by 15% annually from 2001-2005, enabling the Korean share in the global market to expand steadily. The domestic air-conditioning market size was approximately 2 million units in 2006, and consisted mostly in ductless-cooling type units, with LG Electronics and Samsung Electronics dominating the domestic market and strongly exporting. Like China and Japan, Korea also has a large absorption chiller market and the centrifugal, reciprocating and screw chiller markets are well developed. Korea has the 3rd largest absorption heat pump market after China and Japan. This is a result of combined factors, among which are high electricity costs, a good gas utility infrastructure and successful Korean government energy rationalization funds for renewable energy. As for absorption chillers, mostly used to cool large buildings, the high costs required for installing a separate boiler make them less popular, leading to a smaller market.