G&B Cryogénie is a long-standing distribution partner of ASCO Kohlensäure AG and was founded in 2005. G&B has been involved in the development of dry ice cleaning and dry ice production in France ever since. With four locations in France, they have been serving the French and North African market for several years.
Question 1: How do you assess the current situation on the French dry ice market and what development do you expect?
The current situation on the French dry ice market is good at the moment. This is due to two factors: First, industrial activity is relatively stable at the moment, although the economic crisis could disrupt this stability during 2023. Secondly, the market for dry ice as a product is growing slowly but steadily, given its very good environmental performance. Indeed, in most cases dry ice replaces chemical products such as solvents/separating agents or the use of environmentally harmful refrigeration units, which significantly improves the environmental balance of temperature-controlled transport.
These two factors, together with the great potential of this market, suggest that the development of dry ice production will increase sharply in the coming years. However, it is currently very difficult to quantify this given the fluctuating prices per tonne of CO2 and the very irregular sourcing we face.
Question 2: Approximately how much dry ice do you produce per year and which industries are most relevant to G&B?
We currently produce about 600 tonnes of dry ice at four locations. The three most important industries are laboratories, logistics platforms and dry ice cleaning. This is followed by viticulture and agriculture with the inerting of tanks and silos, scenic and visual effects, marking of animals, maintaining the temperature of cooling systems in the event of a power failure, etc.
Question 3: How well known is dry ice in France as an effective refrigerant, and did the Corona pandemic have an impact due to the shipment of vaccines?
One of the main factors for the slow development of our market is the unfamiliarity of dry ice in the industry, but also among the general public, as people do not know the product and therefore it is hardly used as a refrigerant. In fact, many people have heard about it after the vaccine shipment, but it has not changed anything in our daily life.
Question 4: We sense from several sides that companies in the beverage, logistics and dry ice industries are striving to become independent and have their own CO2 sources or use existing CO2 more efficiently through recovery solutions. What does this look like in the case of G&B?
In fact, we have already addressed the issue of sourcing. We have been facing CO2 shortages from so-called traditional sources (refineries and fertiliser factories) for years, which are getting worse, there are two ways to counteract these shortages by consuming less while producing just as much: CO2 recovery and diversification of CO2 supply sources: Bio-CO2 from methanation plants. We are working on these two issues together with Asco.
Question 5: G&B Cryogenie and ASCO have been working together for several years. In your experience, what are the advantages of ASCO technologies?
We have been partners with Asco since 2009 and have tested, purchased and resold a large number of Asco products, and they all have one thing in common: quality. In addition to Asco's reliability, service and decades of know-how, Asco's products are known for their quality.