An aerial view of the Aira heat pump plant in Wrocław.
An aerial view of Aira's new heat pump plant in Wrocław, Poland. Photo credit: Aira.

Aira Opens R290 Residential Heat Pump Plant in Poland With an Annual Production Capacity of 500,000 Units

The Wrocław factory has a price tag of €300 million and will create 2,000 jobs over the next decade, according to the company.

Swedish propane (R290) residential heat pump manufacturer Aira has announced its first factory will open this week in Wrocław, Poland. The company said it will have a maximum annual production capacity of 500,000 units.

The investment: Aira said its new factory will cost €300 million ($321 million), with the company receiving a €15 million ($16.1 million) grant from the Polish government to help cover its costs.

  • Aira said it expects the Wroclaw facility, which it acquired from Swedish automaker Volvo in 2023, to create up to 2,000 jobs over the next 10 years.
  • “This is a significant moment for Aira and all the teams involved,” said Peter Prem, Aira’s Chief Product Supply Officer. “We’ve rapidly transitioned the site into an Aira production facility and it’s with great pride that we are officially inaugurating the factory this week, a year after our launch.”

What’s being built: The Aira heat pump can heat water up to 70°C (158°F) for domestic hot water and space heating (via radiators or underfloor piping).

  • It’s available in three sizes – 6kW, 8kW and 12kW (1.7TR, 2.3TR and 3.4TR) – and is paired with a 100 or 250L (26.4 or 66gal) hot water tank. Optional fan coils enable the heat pump to provide cooling, with a cooling capacity between 8 and 13kW (2.3 and 3.7TR).
  • The Swedish OEM touts its heat pump’s intelligence, with homeowners’ being able to control it via a smartphone app.
  • Aira’s heat pump is currently available in the U.K., Italy and Germany, and unlike most manufacturers, the company only sells directly to consumers via a monthly payment plan that varies in length from 1 to 15 years.

Maintaining momentum: Earlier in June, Aira announced it had secured a €200 million ($214 million) debt commitment from BNP Paribas to facilitate its rollout across Germany.

  • In May, the company opened a training center in Sheffield, England, that it said would train more than 8,000 installers and “renewable technicians” over the next decade.

What it means for NatRefs: Manufacturers clearly aren’t reading too far into recent sales figures from the European Heat Pump Association, which showed a slight drop in demand for heat pumps in Europe in 2023, although the figures were not segmented by refrigerant type.

  • In May, U.S.-based OEM Copeland said it had invested £19 million (€22.1 million/$23.9 million) into its Cookstown, Northern Ireland, compressor plant to expand production to meet “Europe’s anticipated demand for heat pumps and sustainable air-conditioning technologies,” according to CEO Ross Shuster. R290 compressors are one of the products made at Cookstown.
  • In April 2023, German manufacturer Bosch Group announced an investment of €1 billion ($1.1 billion) to scale its European heat pump production, with a portion of the funds earmarked for its factory in Eibelshausen, Germany, that produces indoor units for Bosch’s residential R290 heat pump.

Quotable: “The facility is not just a factory; it’s a beacon of our commitment to innovation, sustainability and a decarbonized future for Europe,” said Aira CEO Martin Lewerth. “Today, 130 million boilers still heat homes across Europe. This presents a significant market opportunity while, more importantly, reducing customer heating bills and carbon emissions. Our Polish production site is pivotal for this transformation, and it is great to get started now.”

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