Greener Reefers in international maritime transport

Reefer containers are vital for trading food and non-food products globally. At the same time, they are also an important source of emissions and contribute notably to the 140 million tonnes of CO2eq annual emissions released by the container shipping industry. This is due to the use of harmful refrigerants and the high energy consumption of conventional reefer containers. The sector is growing rapidly, increasing the negative climate impacts considerably in a business-as-usual scenario. To mitigate these impacts, refrigerant leakages and energy consumption need to be reduced and sustainable solutions with natural refrigerants and high energy efficiency levels need to be promoted. The project is training reefer technicians to reduce leakage rates and ensure optimized energy efficiency. It is alo piloting climate friendly and energy efficient reefer containers.

Project data

Costa Rica, South Africa
IKI funding
2,900,000.00 €
04/2023 till 04/2026
Political Partner
  • Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) - South Africa
  • Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE) - Costa Rica
Implementing Partner
  • National Institute of Learning - Costa Rica

State of implementation/results

  • Kühne Foundation (…) announces collaboration with GIZ Greener Reefers project at COP 28 in Dubai, 12.12.2023. You can find more information here (…).
  • With guest speakers from one of Europe’s largest independent research organisations on refrigerants, the Norwegian “Stiftelsen for industriell og teknisk forskning” (SINTEF), and Kühne Foundation, the project presented the concept of Greener Reefers and their low climate-impact at COP 28 in the Montreal Protocol Pavilion. Greener Reefers are highly energy efficient refrigerated maritime containers that use natural refrigerants and blowing agents with ultra-low climate impact (Global Warming Potential. GWP below 1).

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