Dorin CO2 Compressors China
Lucy Luo, Lead Sales Representative at Shanghai Dorin Compressor Sales, at the 2024 China Refrigeration Expo.

Sales of Dorin’s Transcritical CO2 Compressors in China Have Tripled in the Past Five Years

Lucy Luo, Lead Sales Rep for Shanghai Dorin, told NaturalRefrigerants.com that CO2 makes up half of the company’s compressor sales.

Since entering the Chinese CO2 (R744) refrigeration market in 2018, Italian compressor manufacturer Dorin has tripled sales of its transcritical CO2 compressors, according to Lucy Luo, Lead Sales Representative at Shanghai Dorin Compressor Sales.

Luo told NaturalRefrigerants.com in an exclusive interview at the 2024 China Refrigeration Expo that Dorin sold 1,000 transcritical CO2 compressors in 2023. The 2024 China Refrigeration Expo was held April 8‒10 in Beijing.

Luo said that Dorin’s goals for the next five years are to repeat its sales success from 2018 to 2023.

“Because more customers understand that the COP is higher for CO2 systems than those using conventional synthetics, our target is to move from 1,000 to 3,000 CO2 compressors sold annually,” Luo said.

Founded in 1918, Dorin began producing compressors for refrigeration systems in 1932 and began using CO2 as a refrigerant in 1999. Dorin Shanghai was founded in 2010, and the company established a manufacturing presence in the city of Jiaxing, Dorin Compressor Jiaxing, in 2014. In a 2019 interview with Cold Chain Magazine, Nicola Dorin, President of Dorin Compressor Jiaxing, said that “in the [near] future” the facility could begin to manufacture CO2 compressors.

In her conversation with NaturalRefrigerants.com, Luo outlined Dorin’s compressor offerings and applications in China, noting that transcritical CO2 units make up roughly half of Dorin’s compressor sales in China.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Dorin has tripled its sales of transcritical CO2 compressors in China over the past five years. What has driven this growth?

Lucy Luo: Heat pumps account for 70% of the applications, with 30% going to cooling machines. The CO2 heat pump market is new for Dorin, with compressors generally used for refrigeration.

Many people are interested in CO2 heat pumps due to the higher COP, but domestic manufacturers do not know how to make CO2 compressors. In addition, they worry about finding the right components to handle the high pressures. Dorin Italy supplies everything needed, including providing service through live video or in‑person consultations.

With cold storage a big part of the future market, I hope the demand for CO2 compressors in refrigeration applications climbs.

What is your lineup of CO2 compressors and their annual distribution?

LL: In China, Dorin caters to large applications, offering four CO2 compressor models with the following motor sizes: 20, 30, 40 and 80HP. The distribution between the various models sold yearly changes based on the projects.

Are these compressors manufactured in Italy? And if so, would Dorin consider manufacturing them in China?

LL: Currently, Dorin’s CO2 compressors sold in China are manufactured in Italy. With the growing demand, that may change. When we send in a big order, it takes 120 days or more to receive it from Europe. This is not convenient, but at the moment we only manufacture in Italy. We also receive all of our parts from Italy, too.

In Europe, a current trend in natural refrigerants is big chillers using propane (R290) refrigerant. Can Shanghai Dorin supply R290 compressors for Chinese manufacturers desiring to cater to the European market?

LL: Dorin does not currently offer an R290 compressor in China, and I do not think many people in the country would choose to use propane refrigerant.

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