Carrier R&D center to provide solutions for regional markets

Updated: 2011-04-13 14:19

By Wang Ying (China Daily)

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Carrier R&D center to provide solutions for regional markets

Gree Electric Appliances Inc and Guangdong Midea Electric Appliances Co Ltd hold up to 50 percent of the total domestic air-conditioner market share. [Photo / China Daily]

SHANGHAI - Carrier Corp, the world's largest provider of heating, air-conditioning and refrigeration solutions by sales, aims to broaden its market share in China, amid increasing competition from domestic rivals in energy efficiency areas.

On Wednesday, Carrier opened its Asia-Pacific regional research and development (R&D) center, which will focus on providing products and solutions for China and other Asian markets.

The central government's call for energy efficiency and power reduction is well-recognized by the air-conditioning industry, and Ross B. Shuster, president of Carrier Asia, believes the government's commitment to promoting low-carbon energy sources will guarantee the success of the center.

The R&D center, officially called AdvanTe3C Solutions Center, is located in Pudong New Area of Shanghai. The initial investment in the center was $50 million, the company said in a previous interview.

China aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by about 18 percent in five years to 2015, and the role that air-conditioners play in global warming is significant, analysts said.

"Thirty-nine percent of the world's energy is used in buildings, and 35 percent of that energy is used for air conditioners. Therefore, customers and society expect much more efficiency in energy consumption," Shuster told China Daily on Wednesday.

China's air-conditioner market is highly focused on energy efficiency and sustainable-technology solutions amid increasing calls for environmentally friendly products.

"We have noticed a growing number of manufacturers of air-conditioning units emphasizing energy-efficient products recently. Although they are technologically behind foreign rivals, Chinese companies are expected to catch up very quickly," said Wu Na, an analyst with Northeast Securities.

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Carrier R&D center to provide solutions for regional marketsChina's Gree may build air-conditioner factory in US 

According to Wu, the residential air-conditioner market is dominated by domestic manufacturers, such as Gree Electric Appliances Inc of Zhuhai, Guangdong province, and Guangdong Midea Electric Appliances Co Ltd, which combined hold up to 50 percent of the total market share.

However, the commercial air-conditioner market requires more sophisticated technology and is currently dominated by foreign players such as Carrier, York International, a subsidiary of US-based Johnson Controls Inc, and Japan-based Daikin Industries Ltd.

"With the fast development of Chinese air-conditioner makers, we will see fierce competition within the commercial air-conditioner market," said Wu.

Carrier, a Connecticut-headquartered company, also sees a great potential in green-building consulting. Traditionally regarded as expensive and a luxury, green buildings entail less than a 5 percent increase in construction costs, which can lead to as much as 20 percent of energy reduction, according to Shuster.

"As a result, a green building can usually recover its costs in four or five years from energy reduction," Shuster said.


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