Mexican Fridge Maker Mabe to Phase Out HFCs in 2020

Mabe, a home-appliance manufacturer based in Mexico City, Mexico, has announced a complete phase out of all HFCs from its refrigerator production plants by the end of 2020.

The announcement came at a meeting held the week of February 3 in Mexico City, hosted by the Kigali Cooling Efficiency Program (K-CEP) and Iniciativa Climatica de Mexico (ICM), to discuss approaches for advancing efficient, climate-friendly cooling in Mexico.

Mabe is also committed to improving the efficiency of its refrigerators between 10% and 25%. “With K-CEP funding, Mabe has completed the design, manufacture and testing protocols for energy-efficient compressors that will be used in all refrigerators in Latin America,” said Pablo Moreno, Head of Corporate Affairs at Mabe, in a statement. “This monumental commitment of Mabe with both efficiency and climate-friendly substances sets an example in the region and globally.”

The company, he added, is “providing a success story that highlights to policymakers that low-GWP transitions coupled with improvements in energy efficiency can occur rapidly and at scale in order to ratify and exceed international agreements.”

Also at the conference, MGM Innova Group — a climate finance group that specializes in developing and financing sustainable energy and efficient cooling projects in Latin America — announced that, with support from K-CEP, it is working on a large-scale residential and commercial refrigerator replacement program that supports the transition to low-GWP refrigerants and high-efficiency appliances in Colombia; the group is working to structure a similar program in Mexico.

“Commitments from Mabe show how both industry and government can lead by example to unlock transformative solutions that scale efficient, climate-friendly cooling in order to fight climate change, reduce pressure on government subsidies and improve economic well-being for citizens,”said Alfredo Nicastro, SVP Operations and Sales at MGM Innova.

“Over the coming decades, Mexico’s cooling demand is forecasted to drive over 25% of the country’s total increase in carbon emissions, the highest share projected for any country in the world,” said Jessica Brown, K-CEP Director. “This is why K-CEP has made Mexico a priority and why we are tackling the issue from all angles – through policy, finance, industry, and non-regulatory programs.

Mabe is a Mexican company which has been manufacturing domestic appliances for over 70 years . The company had 19,000 employees in 2017, having grown to be one of Mexico’s biggest employers. Mabe is the market leader in domestic appliances in Latin America and North America. It is now one of the largest manufacturers of large domestic appliances such as refrigerators, washing machines and cookers which can be found in stores from Argentina to Canada. The factory in Mexico is located in a region which is enjoying rapid economic growth and where many high-tech manufacturers are based. A large number of USA companies have established their high-tech production in this region. In 1987 Mabe signed a strategic alliance with General Electric Appliances (GE Appliances) to work together on the development and production of major domestic appliances.

The two companies opened a factory together in Celaya in Mexico in 2000. Since then virtually all ‘No Frost’ refrigerators – such as side-byside, bottom freezers and top freezers – for the US, European and the Middle East markets have been manufactured in Mexico.

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