MONTREAL and MELBOURNE, Australia - A new global chiller engineering and manufacturing group has been formed in Montreal with the merger of the Australian PowerPax chiller business with its North American Smardt sister company, creating the new Smardt Chiller Group. Gaetan Morin, executive vice president of investments of the FTQ Solidarity Fund of Montreal and Roger Richmond-Smith, chairman of the Smardt Chiller Group, disclosed an FTQ minority investment of $15 million in the new entity.

According to the company, Smardt chillers are delivering major reductions in energy consumption in buildings as diverse as the Sydney Opera House, process cooling operations in remote Sinkiang, China, an airport in Colombia, hotels in Hawaii, New York’s Carnegie Hall, and large hospitals in several different countries.

“Companies like Sears, Deutsche Bank, Hilton, and Baxter are demanding lowest lifetime operating costs against a background of high energy costs and rapidly deepening concern for the environment and climate change,” said Richmond-Smith.

“We have installed more than 1,200 chillers in 15 countries so far, with more on the way,” he continued. “Our core strength lies in our oil-free centrifugal technology, which gives us a clear energy and ecological advantage over traditional lubricated chillers. Our magnetic bearings and integral variable-speed drives also increase reliability over lubricated machines and, with no oil system to maintain, maintenance costs drop away rapidly.”

He added, “Even though the Smardt Group’s total sales this year have yet to reach USD 100 million, making us a distant number five behind the big four centrifugal chiller brands, we have attracted a strong groundswell of support from building owners, managers, and consultants, which augurs well for the near future. Much of this growing appetite for the Smardt oil-free technology is from new markets - where a patient financial partner like FTQ gives us added momentum.”

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Publication date:11/09/2009