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Godrej launches ultra-low temperature refrigerators, mobile freezers for COVID-19 vaccines

PB Jayakumar     February 9, 2021

Godrej Appliances, part of the Godrej & Boyce Group, is launching specially refrigerated mobile vans and ultra-low temperature freezers to help in transportation of coronavirus vaccines in India.

Godrej has 63 years of experience in refrigeration technologies. Godrej Appliances is currently deploying vaccine refrigerators that maintain a precise temperature of 2 to 8 degrees Celsius to store the highly temperature-sensitive Covaxin and CoviShield vaccines being administered in India, said Jamshyd Godrej, Chairman & Managing Director, Godrej & Boyce. "Medical freezing technologies are required not only for vaccines but also for plasma, blood banks, drugs etc. Our latest offering of ultra-low temperature freezers will help make India more ready for vaccines of the future as well," he said.

The company introduced ultra-low temperature freezers which can store m-RNA technology vaccines like the ones developed by US-based Moderna and Pfizer, that require deep freezing of up to -20 and -80 degree celsius. The current manufacturing capacity for ultra-low temperature freezers is 12,000 units per annum, which Godrej Appliances is working towards quickly ramping up to 30,000 units per annum. With capacities ranging from 125 litres to 400 litres, these freezers cost between Rs 16,000 to Rs 1.5 lakhs.

Godrej had received orders for 12,000 units in October from the Government, which included 9,000 for medical use refrigerators. Already 2,500 units have been delivered and the rest of the order will be executed by March, said Kamal Nandi, Business Head and Executive Vice President, Godrej Appliances. The Indian medical refrigeration market is worth Rs 2,000-2,500 crore a year. He said the company is also executing international orders worth Rs 55 crore. Godrej has 5,000 trained technicians and 680 service centers across India to assist in the vaccination process, he said.

Godrej Appliances has also successfully piloted a mobile clinic in rural Maharashtra, running an ambulance equipped with a vaccine refrigerator, without connecting it to a power source for three days. The temperature was monitored every 2 hours and met the required temperature norms. As India accelerates the pace of vaccinations, the vans can be used by non-Governmental organisations and the Government to deploy vaccines to the last mile remote villages, said company officials.

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