TESDA and UNIDO Strengthen Partnership for Sustainable Cold Chain Industry

September 14, 2023, Taguig City – UNIDO Philippines, led by its Country Representative Mr. Teddy Monroy, met with TESDA, led by Secretary Suharto Mangudadatu, PhD. to discuss areas of collaboration on skills development in light of the country’s agenda on green jobs and Industry 4.0

Through the “Global Partnership for Improving the Food Cold Chain in the Philippines” (FCC) project, TESDA’s partnership with UNIDO has resulted to a series of trainings on sustainable and climate-friendly cold chain technologies that has reached over 1,000 key stakeholders. It has also resulted to conducting the first-ever training on Safe Operation and Maintenance of Ammonia-based Industrial Refrigeration System which initiated its curriculum development and inclusion in TESDA’s course offerings. The establishment of the Cold Chain Innovation (CCI) Hub, hosted by TESDA, further strengthened the partnership and is expected to catalyze the development of low-carbon, energy efficient refrigeration innovation technologies and business practices in the country. CCI-Hub serves as a central ecosystem of technical resources, training, knowledge sharing and stakeholder collaboration and is the first of its kind in the region.

A quick tour of the CCI-Hub was conducted by FCC Project Team Leader Engr. Gilda Garibay and Technical Expert Manuel Azucena. Also present were TESDA Deputy Director-General for Policies and Planning Ms. Rosanna A. Urdaneta and National Institute for Technical Education and Skills Development (NITESD) Executive Director David Bugallon.

UNIDO and TESDA will continue to support the cold chain industry as it seeks to be more sustainable, resilient and globally competitive through capacity building, demonstration projects and financing.

PSC Approves Demo Project Proposals

The Global Partnership for Improving the Food Cold Chain the Philippines (FCC) Project Steering Committee (PSC) have approved demonstration projects to be awarded in the coming months. Here’s a peak at the approved proposals.

Igloo Supply Chain Solutions from Pasig City will receive a subsidy for a Nihon Netsugen Systems CO2 industrial refrigeration system which offers several advantages over traditional refrigeration systems namely: energy efficiency; non-toxicity; non-flammability; versatility; cost effectiveness and environment friendliness. This application represents the first use of CO2 trans critical refrigeration system in blast freezing for industrial refrigeration setting in the country. 

Icebox Logistics Services, Inc. was approved to demonstrate Naturaline, Carrier’s first natural refrigerant based solution developed for marine container shipping, as an environmentally sustainable alternative for refrigerated marine transport.  Transport refrigeration has been identified as high priority sector of food cold chain. NaturaLine reefer technology is using CO2 refrigerant with improved efficiency and sustainability. Icebox’ network spans in key cities such Manila, Cebu, Iloilo, Cagayan de Oro, Davao, General Santos, Cotabato, and Zamboanga which has high potential for scaling up the introduction of this technology in the country.

InsightSCS Corporation will soon be using two (2) units of PBX R290 Refrigerated Light Truck to deliver produce of smallholder farmers to retailers and institutional buyers in Metro Manila. Transport refrigeration using R290 provides opportunities for fuel efficiency. As a service provider for “last mile” players of the supply chain, InsightSCS’ delivery of refrigerated goods can significantly contribute to prevention of food loss. R290 cooling module is developed as high efficient, low pressure, low maintenance system and adapted to future electrification of transport fleet. While the R290 system comes from Europe, the refrigerated container is made in the in Philippines which supports the local industry. 

The Local Government Unit (LGU)- Municipality of Carles, Iloilo will be able to add R290 solar chest type freezers in the fishing community cold chain facility at Gigantes Island Gigantes Island in Ilo-ilo. As a geographically disadvantaged area that lacks a stable supply of electricity, this off-grid refrigeration application will create more income for the local fisherfolk community that is highly vulnerable to extreme weather events caused by climate change. Refrigeration will preserve their day’s catch which enables them to fetch a better price for their products and increase their income. The same technology will be used in Camp Backpackers in Palawan. As a major tourism destination, Palawan offers many opportunities for local economic development, especially for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). This application provides a case study for empowering local tourism MSMEs in ‘greening’ and adopting sustainable technologies.

FCC Project Showcased at UNIDO OEWG Side Event in Bangkok

July 7, 2023, Bangkok – the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) hosted a side event during the 45TH Open-ended Working Group (OEWG) meeting of the Montreal Protocol, hosted by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Ozone Secretariat. The event featured the progress towards enabling sustainable and energy efficient cold chain technologies in southeast Asia through the Global Partnership for Improving the Food Cold Chain in the Philippines (FCC) project.

Among the topics discussed in this high-level technical forum were energy-efficient and low- or zero-global-warming-potential (GWP) technologies in the refrigeration and airconditioning (RAC), especially in the energy intensive sectors such as cold chains. 

The “Cold Chain Innovation Hub (CCI-Hub) Philippines – Enabling sustainable food cold chain technologies in Southeast Asian Region (SEA)” side event discussed the initiatives in promoting low/zero GWP and energy efficient technologies through standards, capacity building and technology transfer, as embodied by the CCI-Hub located in Taguig City, Philippines. CCI-Hub features the best-in-class cold chain refrigeration technologies that are the first in the region. 

Mr. Jan Dusek, Head of Global Partnership of CCI-Hub and COO of ATMOsphere presented how the CCI-Hub was operationalized as an ecosystem of technical resources, training, knowledge sharing and stakeholder collaboration through technical cooperation and industry contributions. Engr. Gilda Garibay, FCC Project Lead, discussed the progress made from the project in terms of partnering with the Government in creating an enabling environment for low/zero GWP and energy efficient cold chains through updating standards and developing policy instruments, capacity building and financing. Mr. Philipp Denzinger of GIZ presented Proklima’s initiatives on cooling such as the Fit for Green Cooling, Cool Training in Germany, as well as other demonstration projects and relevant publications. Mr. Thomas Trevisan, Deputy Nanager for Public Affairs for Ozone, Climate, Energy and Chemicals of ATMOsphere discussed global policy and market trends on F-Gas regulation and PFAS.

The OEGW meeting also discussed issues arising from the 2022 quadrennial assessment and synthesis report of the Scientific Assessment Panel (SAP), the Environmental Effects Assessment Panel (EEAP) and the Technology and Economic Assessment Panel (TEAP); the consumption and production of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) not listed in Annex F; availability of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs); the update to the TEAP report on information on alternatives to HFCs; and, potential areas of focus for the 2026 quadrennial assessment.

2nd CCI-Hub Future of the industry Conference Held, Focus on Financing and Demo Projects

June 1, 2023,  Taguig City – the Cold Chain Innovation Hub successfully conducted the 2nd Future of the Industry Conference at the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Women’s Center which discussed latest trends, technologies and opportunities such as financing and demonstration projects for the industry.

The conference started with key messages from United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) Country Representative Teddy G. Monroy, Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB) Assistant Director Esperanza A. Sajul and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) – National Institute for Technical Education and Skills Development (NITESD) Assistant Executive Director Enrico C. Banario followed by a panel session on financing for sustainable cold chain technologies participated by Mr. Edgardo C. De Guzman from the Landbank of the Philippines, Mr. Rustico Noli Cruz from the Development Bank of the Philippines, Mr. Mark Emmanuel Canlas from the Bank of Philippine Islands and Mr. Gabriel Lim from BDO Capital. The panelists discussed financing programs offered by their respective institutions which may be availed by the industry. The session was moderated by Ms. Laurie Navarro from the Private Financing Advisory Network (PFAN). CCI-Hub Head of Global Partnerships Mr. Jan Dusek presented updates on the Demo Projects, a co-financing opportunity for natural refrigerant cold chain technologies for end-users.

The afternoon session presented the prospective demo case studies featuring cold chain needs of different sectors. The panel was composed Mr. Aaron John Medina of Glacier Panay Refrigeration Services Corporation, Mr. Pierre Carlo Curay of InsightSCS, Mr. Julieto Manggasang of the Municipality of Carles, Ilo-ilo, Mr. Russel Terbio of Camp Backpackers Palawan and Mr. Gilbert Cumila of Nueva Vizcaya Agricultural Terminal. In the last session, Mr. Han Piao Ngo of Güntner GmbH & Co. and Mr. Emilio Gonzales Lao or Cold Front Technologies Asia. The day capped off with a technology showcase tour of the CCI-Hub.

“There is growing interest among potential end-users to consider more efficient cold chain technologies in their businesses but most of them, especially those in the MSME sector, need technical assistance in putting together their proposals to investors. This scenario is where PFAN comes in, where it will provide pro-bono technical assistance to help end-users prepare bankable proposals for submission to investors. The conference served as the initial interaction among end-users, the financing institutions and PFAN. PFAN shall organize follow-up activities to reconnect with the end-users and financing institutions to address the gap of access to financing for more efficient cold chain technologies using natural refrigerants.”, noted Ms. Navarro.

The event was attended by 120 end-users, project partners, industry leaders, and other industry stakeholders.

FCC Facilitates Updating of Safety Standards for Commercial Refrigeration

Standards ensures the safety and quality of products which is crucial in terms of introducing innovations and new technology and integrating industries into the global value chain. 

The country’s thrusts in developing cold chains present an opportunity to leapfrog into  energy-efficient and climate-friendly technologies which would deliver more economic, environmental, and health benefits. Climate-friendly cold chains uses refrigerants that has low to zero Global Warming Potential (GWP) and would help the country’s pledge to the Montreal Protocol and Kigali Amendment. However, there is a need to strengthen the policy environment in anticipation of the entry of the said products in the market. 

The Global Partnership for Improving the Food Cold Chain in the Philippine (FCC) project promotes the adoption of the latest standards as it identify, develop and stimulate the development of low-carbon, energy efficient refrigeration innovation technologies and business practices in the Philippines for use throughout the food cold chain whilst increasing food safety and security. FCC Component 1 covers the facilitation of improving safety standards through a policy and regulatory assessment that resulted in the following policy recommendations:

1) Standards for low-GWP refrigerants

  • Updating of PNS IEC 60335-2-89 version 3.0
  • Support for adoption of the PNS IEC 60335-2-89 version 3.0 in accreditation processes of cold storage facilities 

2) Energy efficiency

  • Minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) for cold storage warehouses
  • Minimum energy efficiency performance for products (MEPP) – commercial refrigerating appliances

3) Other policy instruments

  • Incentives for energy efficiency projects may also be linked with low-GWP refrigerant technologies through the CREATE Law and Strategic Investment Priority Program (SIPP)
  • Inclusion of environmental management aspect (e.g. disposal/capture/recycling of refrigerants), ensuring subsidies for low-GWP and energy efficient technologies in the Philippine Cold Chain Industry Roadmap 
  • Explore synergies with national climate change action plan, nationally determined contribution (NDC) targets, national cooling plan

In terms of the safety standards, FCC project facilitated the updating of the PNS IEC 60335-2-89 which increases he charge limit of natural refrigerant from 150g to 500g. The standard covers reach in cabinets, bottle coolers, serve over cabinets, multi-deck cabinets and ice cream freezers, among others. Published in June 2022, this standard removes the barrier for natural refrigerant technologies when it comes to regulation. In the past years, there have been a rise in the number of technological innovations on the cold chain seeking to address its carbo footprint. Most of these technologies have been widely tested and considered mature for mainstreaming into the market. 

As international standards bodies adapt with the rate of technological advances in refrigeration by updating their guidelines, regular and timely updating of these standards should be given priority to avoid ease regulatory barriers and ensure the safety and quality of products that will be sold in the local market. The updating of the said standard serves as a precedent for more to come, as the cold chain industry shifts to being more “green”.