Asten Ref Afb5

Leading the way in deep-freeze automation

Request by Vriescentrale Asten: Phasing out the synthetic refrigerant R22, while taking into account Asten's ambitions, namely growth, quality improvements, and automation.

Coldcentre Asten is a logistical service provider in the food sector. The company focuses on three activities: a storage and logistics department, a packing department and a small transport arm for the cold store. José Hendrickx: ‘As a service provider, we’re well aware of the importance of a reliable partner. That’s what we are for our customers, and that’s what EQUANS is for us.’

Coldcentre Asten’s core activity is its packing department. Hendrickx: ‘It’s there that we turn the products of our customers into an export-worthy product that complies with the prevailing legislation. The packing department mainly processes meat. We have a deep-freeze capacity of 160 tons in 24 hours. In our storage department, the share of meat is around 50 percent. The other half is made up of other food products.’

'Energy consumption reduced by 35 percent compared to traditional concepts'
- José Hendrickx
Coldcentre Asten

Strategic choices

When Coldcentre Asten was built in 1987, EQUANS installed refrigeration systems based on the R22 refrigerant. Hendrickx: ‘Since then, we’ve added renovations and made various adjustments. Last year, we discussed how we’d phase out the R22. We decided to combine it with strategic choices for the future, such as growth, quality improvement and automation. Now we have an automated deep-freeze system that’s the first of its kind on the European mainland. One of our machine rooms now has the kind of capacity that can easily cope with any future expansion. We replaced the R22 with ammonia/CO2.’


Hendrickx is full of praise for EQUANS's role in the latest developments at Coldcentre Asten. ‘They have always treated us as a fully-fledged partner. Both sides have invested in the relationship by arranging joint study trips, for example. That enabled us to make well-founded decisions. EQUANS advised and helped us with cost overviews and subsidy applications. I believe EQUANS and Coldcentre Asten get on so well because we have the same work mentality.’

‘We want to give our customers added value. But that’s only possible if they give us the space to do our work properly. And we gave EQUANS the space to do a great job. And that’s exactly what they did.’

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