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Chinese co. produces first anti/microbial copper A/C

Guangdong Chigo Air Conditioning Ltd Co, China’s fourth-largest manufacturer of air conditioners, has launched what it claims is the world’s first anti-microbial copper air conditioner.

Furthermore, it also aims to expand its global presence in the high-end market, including Europe, via an aggressive marketing strategy.

“If we have the opportunity and the timing is right, we will merge with or acquire foreign players to expand our business overseas,” said Li, who founded Chigo in 1994.

The Hong Kong-listed company announced that its growth strategy would focus on the development and sales of energy-saving, healthy and environmentally friendly products.

Li Xinghao, chief executive officer and president of Chigo, said that as the company’s global expansion continues, it is vital for Chigo to build a high-quality global supply chain. The Guangdong-based company now has an annual production capacity of 10 million units, half of which are exported.

“I expect we can sell 1,000 sets of the anti-microbial copper air conditioners every month next year, both domestically and abroad, and this is just the first step,” Li said.

The development and launching of the new product is in cooperation with the International Copper Association and will use copper to replace the aluminium fins in the air conditioners, based on copper’s anti-microbial property.

“The natural anti-microbial property of copper was approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency in 2008 and applied in health-conscious systems and large-scale public construction,” said Wenson Zheng, the association’s vice-president of global R&D.

Compared with other models of the same capacity, Chigo’s new product is claimed to produce energy savings of up to 56 per cent.

“After we listed on the Hong Kong bourse (in July 2009), our brand reputation has been greatly enhanced, especially with regard to our record-breaking energy-saving technologies,” Li said.

“Though the company has ambitious plans, the path may not be smooth, given competition from arch-rivals Gree and Midea and some technological barriers set by the European Union,” Cao said.

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