The country’s economy has begun to recover from its negative growth in 2014 by gaining 0.7 % in GDP in 2015 (estimated by the OECD). Other sources forecast a doubling of this rate in 2016. The construction industry is being driven mainly by refurbishment.
The total market in 2015 for central plant air conditioning components (chillers, AHUs, and fan coils) is estimated at some US$ 390 million with a rise of 8% compared with the preceding year. Retrofit has been the most important feature in sustaining this activity.
So-called ‘hydronic cooling’ where small packaged chillers sup-ply terminal units is said to be declining somewhat in popularity and being replaced by VRF systems, although loyalty between consultants (the principal specifiers of hydronic systems) and chiller suppliers remains a strong bond. Sales of chillers in 2015 are estimated at US$224 million or around 20,300 units. Most of these are small air-cooled units. Italy has a strong manufacturing base for chillers and imports remain low at around 15% in value. The key players are Aermec, Daikin, and Climaveneta. Other important brands include Carrier, Clivet, and Rhoss who specializes in close control cooing for IT centers.