German enterprise BITZER, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of refrigerant compressors, recently announced that it was expanding its sales and support network in India, although it has no immediate plans to set up a plant. Robert de Bruyn spoke to Renu Rajaram on his company’s plans to tap into the potential refrigerated storage chain business in India.
Briefly, tell us about BITZER’s latest products and services in India?
BITZER introduced the R410A range of scroll compressors in India in late 2013. As a refrigerant R410A has zero ozone depletion potential and is a much better option than R22 and R407C refrigerants being extensively used in India by chiller manufacturers.
BITZER also released the Ecoline Varispeed range of inverter driven semi-hermetic reciprocating compressors and CSVH range of inverter driven screw compressors that offer the highest part load efficiency and reduce the power bills of users.
In terms of service, the Green Point service centre was established in Bengaluru in July 2013 and this will be followed by launch of Green Point in Kolkata by April 2014; this will make us the only compressor manufacturer with pan-India service and training support capabilities.
What is BITZER’s contribution towards a greener world? How do you ensure that your products are not adding to the carbon footprint?
BITZER has always taken the lead in offering products that contribute to the mission of a greener world. For example, we do not offer scroll compressors for R22 refrigerant because this has ozone depletion potential and it damages the environment. In spite of the high volumes of these compressors, we have still chosen to offer R410A scroll compressors that use a more environment friendly refrigerant. In the same way, the inverter driven compressors lower the power consumption for the users. India derives its energy needs predominantly from coal-based power plants and every kilowatt of power means more coal is burned.
Could you elaborate on your company’s green credentials?
BITZER contributes to this in two ways i.e. one by offering compressors that are more energy efficient and hence need less power to operate, and two, by promoting use of refrigerants that are more environment friendly.
Forty per cent of fruit and vegetable produce go waste in India due to lack of storage facilities. How can the public and private sector develop proper storage facilities?
It is a very sorry and undesirable state in our country. The only option to prevent this wastage is to ensure that the cold storage network is rapidly and quickly expanded throughout the country. The government is already offering lot of subsidies to make this possible and the results are positive. But the private sector should take this cue from the government and assist in development of the cold chain network in India.
What is your company’s investment in green products vis-à-vis in other countries like China?
BITZER promotes only green products in India. In China, the local regulations are different and with the heavy focus on achieving manufacturing scale, a comparison is not possible.
Our business in India is worth under €20 million and this is about 2 per cent of the global BITZER revenue.
What are your expansion plans for India? Are you planning to set up a manufacturing plant?
BITZER operates company-owned Green Point Service stations in Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru. By expanding this network to Kolkata, we will offer after-sales and training support services on pan-India basis. Also, the focus of the Government of India to develop the northeast region of India makes Kolkata an automatic choice to start a service centre. BITZER will contribute positively to the development of technical and service skills of personnel in East India.
BITZER has no immediate plans of starting a manufacturing plant in India.
Tell us more about the latest R&D at your engineering and technology centres and about the four Green Points.
Our company employs more than 500 people across the country for R&D activities because the focus for the company is to keep offering more and more energy efficient products in the market. In India, the Green Point network is operational in Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru, and the fourth GP will start in Kolkata by April 2014. In addition to stocking genuine spare parts and oil, the Green Points are extensively used to offer practical training to customers.
Do you collaborate with other companies in India for energy management solutions?
BITZER partners with almost all the companies in India, both multinational and Indian, which operate in the refrigeration and air-conditioning segment and all of these companies also continuously offer energy efficient products to the market.