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A-Gas breaks into Japanese refrigerant reclamation market

UK/JAPAN: British company A-Gas has broken into the Japanese refrigerant reclamation market with the acquisition of Tokyo-based FUSO Co Ltd.

A-Gas says that the Japanese market has been one of its long-term growth targets given the country’s focus on environmental regulation and the high levels of recovery and reclamation of refrigerant gas.

FUSO was established in 1957, has a long-standing and leading presence in the gas detector market in Japan and had been offering refrigerant reclamation and destruction services to customers across the country through a network of regional offices and key processing sites near Tokyo.

However, FUSO’s refrigerant activities were interrupted in 2020 when Japanese authorities found the company to be in breach of its strict refrigerant emission control laws. Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Ministry of the Environment accused FUSO of not complying “with the standards for fluorocarbon regeneration and the standards for destruction of fluorocarbons, and properly destroys fluorocarbons” and withdrew its remanufacturing permits.

A-Gas Japan

The acquisition of FUSO transfers all the company’s assets and business to A-Gas under its newly formed subsidiary A-Gas Japan. A-gas negotiations with METI are also said to have re-established FUSO’s refrigerant remanufacturing permits.

A-Gas Group CEO Jack Govers said: “This is an exciting expansion of our global business and strengthens our presence in Asia. We are delighted to be able to expand and offer the services we have developed successfully in other global regions to our existing and new customers in Japan. 

“We can now offer full lifecycle management of refrigerant in Japan from supply, recovery, reclamation and destruction. We also believe that the market leading gas detection equipment that FUSO has supplied historically can be utilised in our existing business on a global basis.”

Key to the new operation is the establishment of A-Gas Japan. Incorporated last year, A-Gas Japan is headed by MD Katsuyuki “Ken” Takise, who has more than 30-years experience of the chemicals business, including more than 14 years with Honeywell.

This is the eighth acquisition by A-Gas since the investment by private equity firm KKR. Since 2017 A-Gas has acquired the Netherlands-based reclamation business, BTC, US-based Diversified Pure Chem and H3R Clean Agents, Arthur Friedrichs Kältemittel in Germany, Singapore-based VEMAC Services, the former Safety Hi-Tech site and reclamation facility in Italy and, in December last year, Salience Solutions in Australia.

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