Australia & NZ

Australian NatRef Contractor Eyes 100th Anniversary

Australian contractor AJ Baker & Sons, an installer of transcritical CO2 systems, will celebrate its 100-year anniversary in May 2020, according to a post on the company’s website.

The biggest highlight for the company so far, according to Baker, has been “seeing the fruition of our 15 years of expansion from a one-state business to a 5-state company and tripling our staff numbers.”

AJ Baker is a major supplier of natural refrigerant systems to Australia’s food retail market. By the end of this year, it will have installed transcritical CO2 systems at 26 stores across Australia. Its first transcritical CO2 store installation was in April 2014.

It also recently completed the installation of an ECO2Small transcritical CO2 system supplied by Italian OEM Epta at a new FreshPlus store, a community-based supermarket chain, located in Craigieburn, a northern suburb of Melbourne, Australia.

The company has also recently partnered with the Technical and Further Education (TAFE) South Australia (SA) training academy to develop virtual reality (VR) content for a hydrocarbon refrigerant training module by year’s end.

Baker said that its main challenge going forward will be two-fold. First is “being able to convince our clients to take the bold step in investing in new technologies — maintaining the status quo will take you nowhere.” 

“Secondly, getting the flow of apprentices and tradesmen to come on board and be involved in one of the most exciting times of the industry,” the company said.

AJ Baker & Sons began as a trading company in 1920 in Perth. In 1931, it “enlarged its business activities to encompass its present operation as a refrigeration and air-conditioning service provider and contractor,” according to the website. “AJ Baker now employs more than 240 people across six branches, making it one of the largest privately owned refrigeration contractor businesses in Australia.”