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SHIPPING giant Maersk has ordered the first half of a planned 200 new refrigerated containers that are chilled with CO2 refrigerant using technology by Carrier Transicold.

The announcement comes shortly after Danfoss published survey results revealing the vast majority of manufacturers and consultants  in the United States commercial and industrial refrigeration sector now regard R744 as a viable mainstream refrigerant.

Carrier says its NaturaLine container refrigeration system is the world’s first to use R744, using carbon dioxide extracted from outdoor air.

The units are installed in 40ft high-cube containers for deployment on routes between Europe and the Americas, with onboard and land-based crew at each port being trained in operation and service of the new R744 systems.

As the world’s biggest container shipping company, Maersk has 260,000 refrigerated containers in its fleet, meaning the new R744 units are just the very tip of a huge iceberg.

Maersk Line head of global equipment Ingrid Uppelschoten-Snelderwaard said the company selected the Carrier R744 system following laboratory testing its performance with perishable and frozen goods and that it is “keen to carefully evaluate all alternatives to the current synthetic refrigerants”.

Carrier president David Appel said his firm “shares Maersk Line’s goals of improving the efficiency and sustainability of global container shipping”.

Last year Maersk ordered 11,000 container chillers from Carrier, which supplied its R134a-based PrimeLine units that are claimed to provide cooling that is both efficient and powerful.

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