International technology group GEA signed a contract for its new transcritical CO2 industrial refrigeration technology, with P&O Cruises, part of Carnival Corporation & PLC, the world’s largest commercial cruise ship operator. The green refrigeration technology has already been installed on board P&O Cruises 2,000-passenger ship Arcadia, where it will deliver the energy-efficient cooling supply for all of the ship’s food and beverage refrigeration units. Discussions between GEA and P&O Cruises are ongoing with a view to rolling out the state-of-the-art transcritical CO2 refrigeration plants to additional cruise ships in the existing fleet, and installing the technology directly in new P&O Cruises ships as they are constructed.

Cooling systems that use non-polluting CO2 as an alternative refrigerant to chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) are already in use in the retail sector. Developing flexible CO2 refrigeration systems that can be installed safely in the constrained, constantly moving environment of sea-going ships has up to the present been challenging. GEA harnessed more than 100 years of expertise in the design and construction of industrial refrigeration plants to develop the new transcritical CO2 technology specifically for use on ships. 

The modular transcritical-type CO2 plants operate using multiple GEA Bock compressors which are ideally suited to the high pressures of CO2 refrigeration systems. Redundancy is built in the plant, so that failure of one or even multiple compressors will not cause the system to stop working. GEA solutions can be tailored to just about any available on-board space, and are designed to be safe, robust and reliable, however rough the voyage. Installation can be carried out while the ship is underway, without affecting continued use of the legacy system before switchover takes place. 

“We are delighted to announce this major partnership for our groundbreaking transcritical CO2 technology, with P&O Cruises,” comments Marc Prinsen, Head of Application Center Utilities Marine at GEA. “Every sector of industry is working hard to protect the environment, and that includes saving energy, reducing emissions, and switching to natural refrigerants. As one of the world’s leading technology developers and suppliers to a wide range of global industries, we recognize the key role that we can play by developing sustainable, green technologies, which can be used in challenging processes and settings. Having signed our partnership with P&O Cruises, we are also now in discussions with major international fishing fleets.” 

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