ATMOsphere ASIA 2015 confirms Japanese natural refrigerant leadership

05 March 2015

ATMOsphere Asia 2015 – “Natural Refrigerants – Solutions for Asia” returned to Tokyo for the second time from 3-5 February. The event, for which Panasonic was the platinum sponsor, and Mayekawa and Sanden were gold sponsors, gathered 160 participants and 33 international presentations, which covered policy and market trends and technology and innovation in a mix of applications. The energy saving potential of all five natural refrigerants, CO2, ammonia, hydrocarbons, water and air was clearly evident. With JPY 6.2 billion in subsidies for natural refrigerants in 2015 and green procurement policies set for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, a dynamic market environment has been created for natural working fluids in Japan.

“We are moving towards low GWP (global warming potential) refrigerants around the world. This is clearly going to create a business opportunity for natural refrigerants. More suppliers are competing for this market. Compared to a year ago, we can say that progress has been positive here in Japan. But natural refrigerants are still niche, taking less than 10% of the market globally, and the mainstreaming of natural refrigerants is not going to happen by itself. We have to be proactive and raise awareness,” said Marc Chasserot, shecco Japan KK Managing Director.


CO2 goes from strength to strength – Japanese companies on the road to becoming world leaders


Presentations by Lawson, SAVE ON and The Coca Cola Company, confirmed that leading Japanese convenience store (CVS) chains and end users are investing heavily in CO2 technology. The expected total number of CO2 stores in Japan will be 700 in the first quarter of 2015, and the total number of energy saving peak shift vending machines 83,000 in 2014.


In a major change in the market, CVS chain SAVE ON announced the first all natural store combining CO2 and hydrocarbons will open on 20 February, whilst Lawson used ATMOsphere Asia to reconfirm their aim of becoming the world leader in number of CO2 transcritical stores in 2015, with a total of 570 by end of February 2015.


Also vying to become a CO2 market leader is Sanden. The Japanese compressor manufacturer hopes to become the world's leading CO2 compressor manufacturer for a wide range of applications.


Further impetus for the adoption of CO2, in particular for warm climates, could be found in the new technologies, such as controls to improve pressure stability, parallel compression and ejectors, being tested by Panasonic, Bitzer, Carel, Emerson Climate Technologies, and Danfoss.


Hydrocarbons have a long way to go become mainstream option


Although the market and policy climate is not favourable to hydrocarbons yet, in 2014 REI-TECH entered the Japanese market, determined to drive the introduction of AHT showcases, one of which was on display in the Shin-Maru Conference Square. Red Bull, who is struggling to use their hydrocarbon ECO Coolers in Japan, despite success in all other markets, hopes that REI-TECH’s efforts will help to change this. Red Bull presenter Juergen Brenneis pointedly asked participants: "What can we do to have hydrocarbons in Japan?”


NH3/CO2, water and air refrigeration technologies dramatically reduce electricity costs in industrial refrigeration sector


Kobeya Baking, which replaced an R22 refrigeration plant at their Chiba frozen dough plant with a Mayekawa CO2/NH3 NewTon chiller, achieved on average 38% annual energy savings. In Korea, fish processing specialist Sea Sky Global achieved a 40% electricity reduction thanks to the use of Mayekawa’s Pascal Air system. Solar absorption technology using water as a refrigerant has helped the University of Indonesia reduce electricity costs by RP 68 million (EUR 4,000), whilst Kawasaki’s Turbo chiller, also using water as a refrigerant, is said to reduce power consumption by 30%.


Moules-frites, waffles and beer


On the evening of the first day, ATMOsphere Asia participants were regaled with a “taste of Belgium” during a dinner reception at the Belgian Embassy in Tokyo. In his opening speech, Christophe de Bassompierre, the Deputy Head of Mission and currently the Chargé d’affaires in the absence of the Ambassador, praised shecco’s specialised knowledge and capacity to bring stakeholders together. Tetsuro Homma, Senior Vice President of Panasonic Appliances warmly encouraged participants to take advantage of the unique networking opportunities afforded by ATMOsphere Asia, to create new business connections with both Asian and international companies present at the event.


“Innovation is crucial for the future of our society and our businesses. The market for natural refrigeration is moving in Japan, thanks to government support, in particular a subsidy for the introduction of natural refrigerants, and thanks to innovation from suppliers from Japanese Industry. The market is also growing for international companies. With the Olympics fast approaching, the eyes of the world will be on Tokyo, and this will be a golden opportunity to showcase Japan’s natural refrigerant technology to the world,” said His Excellency Christophe de Bassompierre.


About shecco


For more than a decade marketing and communications expert shecco has been active in helping bring climate friendly technologies faster to market.shecco supports over 100 partners worldwide in two areas: the HVAC&R sector, where the focus is on sustainable refrigeration, heating & cooling technologies using natural refrigerants; and the transport sectors where an emphasis is put on electric vehicles (cars, heavy duty vehicles, scooters, bikes). shecco offers a variety of services, ranging from world-leading online industry platforms, to market research and consultancy services, events management, funding & grants support, and public affairs.




Clémence Girard-Reydet

Events Manager shecco Europe


Marc Chasserot

Managing Director shecco Japan KK


Jan Dusek

Business Development Officer shecco Japan KK


Media contact

Janaina Topley Lira

Media Officer