FG launches HCFCs phase out plan for ozone depleting substances
The Federal Government is working towards the implementation of the Montreal Protocol with the aim to achieve phase out of Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) such as refrigerants in the foam and refrigeration sector of the economy.
Besides, the government has established a pilot hydrocarbon plant for the production of high-grade hydrocarbon refrigerants to be used as alternative non-Ozone substances in the refrigeration and air conditioning servicing sector.
The Minister of Environment, Dr. Mohammad Abubakar, stated this when inaugurating the Project Steering Committee for the Stage II of the Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) phase out management plan project in Abuja.
He explained, “As part of the implementation of the Stage I project, we have successfully upgraded a system house at Vitapur Nigeria Limited for the formulation of methyl formate-based pre-blended polyols as an alternative to ODS in making rigid polyurethane foam.”
Abubakar added, “The project under the Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer is designed to phase out the use of HCFCs in all the relevant industrial sectors, to prevent the depletion and save mankind from the deleterious effects of this global issue.”
“We will strengthen the sector’s training standards and capacity to improve service levels, reduce leakage rates and energy consumption. This will involve training and certification of about 10,000 technicians on the use of natural refrigerants,” he remarked.
Also, Minister of State, Mrs. Sharon Ikeazor, said that the phase out plan management plan began in 2010 to be completed in 2040, and all parties adjudge the protocol as the most successful environmental agreement in the world with the universal ratification.
She said, upon successful completion of Stage I implementation in 2018, the stage II project was approved by the Multilateral Fund the same year, in addition to the United Nations Development Programme and United Nations Industrial Organisation (UNIDO) as well as the Government of Italy will equally serve as bilateral agency for the project.
The minister commended the development partners for effective collaboration and support, saying, the project will build on the achievements of the previous one and will assist Nigeria to achieve the Montreal Protocol’s target of 51.35 percent reduction of ODS by 2023.
In a goodwill message, the Regional Director, UNIDO, Mr. Jean Bakole, explained that the Protocol would address about 100 chemicals and the Vienna Convention on the protection of the ozone layer, which is widely, ratified treaties in the history of the United Nations.
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