Marc Chasserot, ATMOsphere (left), and Joachim Schadt, Secon.
Marc Chasserot, ATMOsphere (left), and Joachim Schadt, Secon.

Secon Invests in New Croatian Production Facility for Hydrocarbon Units

The new premises in Zagreb could produce up to 2,500 hydrocarbon units per year to meet growing demand.

German OEM Secon has announced plans to address the increasing demand for hydrocarbon-based HVAC&R technologies with a new manufacturing facility in Zagreb, Croatia.

According to Joachim Schadt, Owner and Managing Director of Secon, the company aims to expand its production capacity by 2,000–2,500 units per year once the facility is fully operational. The additional six production lines will focus exclusively on hydrocarbons, he told NaturalRefrigerants.com in a recent interview, adding that it will take approximately two years to get the first two production lines operational.

The new 20,000m2 (215,278ft2) facility will be built on a 28,000m2 (301,389ft2)-plot of land, located 7km (4.3mi) from Secon’s existing production site, which is operated by Croatian manufacturer Frigo Plus, a partly owned subsidiary of the German company.

This project follows the recent 1,000m2 (10,764ft2)-expansion of the companies’ existing site earlier this year.

Frigo Plus has been Secon’s independent production partner for around ten years. Approximately two years ago, Secon became part-owner of the Croatian manufacturer to increase production capacity. According to Schadt, this strategic partnership has created new production opportunities.

In a previous interview with NaturalRefrigerants.com, Pavao Jerković, CTO of Frigo Plus, mentioned that around 70% of the units manufactured by the company are for Secon.

Earlier this year, Secon received the ATMO Approved Natural Refrigerants Label for the third time.

Innovative production and testing

Secon is also investing in advanced technology to enhance production efficiency and boost capacity, Schadt said. For example, the manufacturers are using an automatic cable confectioning machine to reduce the manual labor needed for sizing and cutting the electrical cables used in their systems.

The companies have also developed a standardized condenser platform, which consists of modular blocks that each contains two condenser coils, fans and compressors. Up to eight blocks can be combined before being shipped out to customers.

Secon and Frigo Plus have also invested heavily in testing to ensure the optimal performance of their units and components.

Meeting the demand for NatRefs

As the EU works to phase out the consumption of HFCs by 2050, mandated by the bloc’s recently revised F-gas Regulation, the demand for alternatives to fluorinated gases – such as natural refrigerants – is expected to rise.

Simultaneously, interest in heat pumps for residential, commercial and industrial applications is also on the rise, largely driven by decarbonization efforts and the region’s REPowerEU plan.

To meet this demand, several manufacturers, including Copeland, Aira, Vahterus and Fenagy, have announced projects to expand their production capacity for natural refrigerant-based heat pump technologies.

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