The Marshall County Courthouse in Marshalltown, Iowa, home of the new CO2 Refrigeration Systems production facility.
The Marshall County Courthouse in Marshalltown, Iowa. Photo by Aria_RJWarren for Shutterstock.

U.S. OEM CO2 Refrigeration Systems to Open New Manufacturing Facility in Iowa

The company also announced plans to hire 48 employees over the next three years.

U.S.-based OEM CO2 Refrigeration Systems (CRS) is expanding its operations in the city of Marshalltown, Iowa, and has announced plans to open a new manufacturing facility in the city.

CRS has purchased and is renovating a plant formerly owned by Scott Manufacturing, which builds custom fiberglass and foam insulation products. According to Zach Laws, President and CEO of CRS, the company will begin production at the new site on April 30. CRS builds CO2 (R744) transcritical racks, gas coolers, packaged units and liquid overfeed systems. The company was founded in 2022.

Low volume, high value: Laws detailed his company’s operations to the Marshalltown City Council, which he petitioned for funding in February.

  • Laws said CRS’s smallest CO2 refrigeration systems could be used in grocery stores, such as the Midwestern chains Fareway or Hy-Vee. The largest could be implemented by food companies, such as frozen food producer JBS Swift, whose plant in Ottumwa, Iowa, processes 21,000 hogs daily.
  • According to Laws, his company will focus on “low volume, high value” products, with a primary focus on engineering and assembly. He said CRS will not compete with U.S. OEM Lennox, which operates a 1,000,000ft2 (92,903m2) manufacturing facility and office in the city.
  • Lennox does not sell CO2 refrigeration equipment in the U.S. but does offer transcritical racks and condensing units in Europe under its Friga Bohn brand.

Potential financing: State financial awards and incentives will be used to help offset the cost of purchasing and renovating CRS’s new facility, which is estimated at $4 million (€3.7 million).

  • The Iowa Economic Development Authority may provide a potential award of $177,500 (€163,400).
  • A $365,205 (€336,200) payroll tax deferment from a new jobs training program offered by the Iowa community college system is available but requires a $20,000 (€18,400) local funding match provided from Marshalltown. The city approved the funding match in March.
  • Laws said CRS will make 48 new hires over the next three years.

What it means for NatRefs: The expansion of CRS gives Midwestern retailers and industrial operators another OEM to work with as the U.S. prepares to phase down HFCs.

  • Laws alerted the Marshalltown City Council to the upcoming phase down, saying in his pitch that, “We’ve got some tailwinds with some regulations that are really tightening up.”

Quotable: “We’ll be heavy on the engineering side and heavy on the assembly side with our manufacturing and production here in Marshalltown,” said Laws. “We’re striving to create 48 jobs over the next three years, and a lot of those jobs will be welders, braziers and assemblers.”

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