By Andrew Williams, Mar 15, 2017, 19:30 • 2 minute reading
Italian water vending machine and water cooler manufacturer Blupura expects to grow by 43% in 2017 – largely thanks to its commitment to future-proof natural refrigerants.
Blupura's Massimiliano Santicchia at Vending Paris today
Having recorded growth of 30-40% every year for the past four years, Italian water vending machine and water cooler manufacturer Blupura expects to grow by an even more impressive 43% in 2017 – largely thanks to its commitment to future-proof natural refrigerants. Hydrocarbons21.com reports from Vending Paris.
“We’ve moving our entire production to propane (R290). Our strategy is 100% R290,” Massimiliano Santicchia, export manager at BLUPURA Srl, told hydrocarbons21.com today at the company’s booth at Paris Expo, taking place from 15-17 March in the Porte de Versailles area of the French capital.
Blupura – headquartered in Recanati, Italy – sees its use of natural refrigerants as a central pillar of its wider sustainability efforts. The company’s units are manufactured from stainless steel and aluminium and target the hospitality, office, and domestic markets. They are also popular in schools and hospitals.
In 2017, it intends to cease manufacturing water coolers based on isobutane (R600a) in favour of focusing 100% on propane. “R290 is better for water coolers,” Santicchia argued.
In Paris, Blupura is exhibiting its new stainless steel ‘COOL1’ water dispenser for canteens, schools, gyms and other self-service areas. The unit uses propane as the refrigerant and gives customers the option of topping up their water bottles with either still or sparkling water.
“We feel that natural refrigerants are our mission.”
– Massimiliano Santicchia, Blupura
Luca Constantini, CEO and co-founder of Blupura, told hydrocarbons21.com how design had played a central role – alongside sustainability – in the company’s success over the past nine years.
“Since the beginning, we’ve focused on design, and above all, on environmentally friendly details. Blupura is the first company in the water cooler industry to use natural refrigerants,” Constantini said.
“Since day one, our water coolers have used R290. We were and still are pioneers in Europe and the United States for using hydrocarbons in the water cooler industry,” he said.
Ready to target new markets
Nine years have elapsed since Blupura launched in 2008. Since then, the company has expanded its activities beyond Europe to the United States. “We feel that natural refrigerants are our mission,” Santicchia said.
Blupura USA Inc. was only founded in 2014, with a warehouse based in Miami and a business developer in North Carolina. In January 2016, it became the first company to receive authorisation from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to sell R290-based water coolers in the United States.
Santicchia is optimistic that propane-based equipment will prove a hit with environmentally-conscious Americans and is unconcerned by the change of administration in the White House. “We’ve been marketing these products for years,” he said.
Indeed the company is looking to expand its global reach. “We’re targeting new markets in Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan and the Middle East,” Santicchia said.
With market expansion on the cards, Blupura opened new production facilities totalling 1,400m2 in February 2017.