Mitsubishi chooses Scotland for low carbon technology

Posted on 22 Jul 2009 by The Manufacturer

Mitsubishi Electric has announced it is to start production of its low carbon Ecodan residential heating system at the company’s manufacturing facility in Livingston, Scotland.

Ecodan is an air-to-water heat pump that can provide heating and hot water for domestic homes. The company says it has the potential to lower a home’s CO2 emissions by up to 50% and reduce running costs by 30%, compared with modern gas boilers. The technology is also now officially classed as renewable energy form following recent legislation from the European Parliament.

One of the production lines at the Livingston factory, which currently just makes air conditioning units, will be adapted to make the pumps. Mitsubishi said it expects to make 3,000 in its first year and anticipates production growth of up to 10,000 units as more markets adopt the system. The company said staffing levels at the factory, currently 420 employees strong, will increase in line with the expansion.

John Swinney, finance secretary at the Scottish Government, said Mitsubishi’s decision to choose Scotland for production of the system “is further evidence that Scotland is seizing the opportunities that come from our position at the forefront of developing a sustainable, low carbon economy.” He attributed the country’s “ambitious and comprehensive legislation” as an enabler for the move.

Mitsubishi Electric’s general manager of its Air-Conditioning & Refrigeration Systems Division, Yoshinori Miyata, said the choice of destination was more down to skill sets. “We believe there is a great talent in the science and technology fields (in the UK) that should be utilised,” he said.

The company’s plans also found favour with UK business secretary Lord Mandelson. “As part of our commitment to developing a sustainable, low carbon economy we are working with UK businesses to promote the UK as the destination of choice for low carbon investment,” he said. “Together with Mitsubishi Electric we can offer our knowledge, technology and experience to bring about incremental and sizeable reductions in carbon emissions.”

The Ecodan system is accredited under government’s Microgeneration Scheme, making it eligible for a £900 installation grant. Manufacture of the product will begin in Scotland in September of this year.