Comments from Chris Sturman, CEO of the Food Storage and Distribution Federation, on polluting refrigeration units.
A recent article in Cold Chain News only serves to add to the concern which is mounting amongst FSDF members running fleets of temperature controlled distribution vehicles about the pressure mounting to restrict or even ban the use of the diesel driven refrigeration plant mounted on them.
These fears emanate from continued assertions by the developers of the Dearman Engine Company nitrogen based refrigeration plant that all existing refrigeration plant is highly polluting.
Suppositions have been put forward, such as “84,000 fridge units on the road today are deemed to be highly polluting.” “The current estimates are that during a year, fridges powered by small diesel engines can produce up to six times as much Nitrogen Oxide and 30 times more particulates than are caused by the Euro 6 engine.”
The use of rebated fuel “red diesel” is also under threat, which if removed, would also add to operating costs. Discussions at Parliamentary level continue to promote these assertions, without recognition that the Non-Mobile Machinery Equipment Regulations will finish passage through the EU Regulatory process in Brussels shortly and are scheduled to be introduced in 2018. These will bring engineering standards up to the Euro 6 level for equipment mounted on vehicles which drive refrigeration and other equipment such as concrete miser, fuel tankers and similar applications.
It appears that tighter regulation on the use of all vehicle mounted refrigeration is being called for by national and local politicians on an uninformed basis which will only add to supply chain and logistics costs and add further inflationary pressure on distribution costs and food prices. No recognition is being made of the zero and very low emission refrigeration equipment currently available and in use from such well-known brand names as IR Thermo King, Carrier Transicold, FRIGOBLOCK , Linde Gas, and Hubbard.
FSDF members firmly believe that further detailed research is needed to properly evaluate the issue and identify and quantify the nature and volume of emissions and pollution. This research would then provide a firm base, if needed, for future operational rules and allow informed technical development of new equipment for future use.