EU F-Gas Regulations – Semiconductor Manufacture

EU F-Gas Regulations - Semiconductor Manufacture

This guidance is for organisations affected by the 2014 EU F-Gas Regulation (517/2014). The F-Gas
Regulation creates controls on the use and emissions of fluorinated greenhouse gases (F-Gases)
including HFCs, PFCs and SF6.

In the semiconductor manufacturing sector, the F-Gas Regulation affects the use of F-Gases used in
specialist processes including plasma etching and chemical vapour deposition. The 2014 EU F-Gas
Regulation replaces the 2006 Regulation, strengthening all of the 2006 requirements and introducing
a number of important new measures.

The F-Gas Regulation is an important piece of legislation that will result in significant reductions in the
emissions of F-Gases. These are very powerful greenhouse gases, with global warming impacts that
can be several thousand times higher than CO2 (per kg of gas emitted). All EU Member States agree
that it is important to reduce emissions of these gases.

This Information Sheet describes the requirements that apply to semiconductor manufacturing.

Sector description

EU F-Gas Regulations – Semiconductor Manufacture

The semiconductor manufacturing industry makes use of a range of F-Gases for specialised processes
including plasma etching and cleaning of chemical vapour deposition chambers.

The products used include SF6, PFCs and HFCs. The industry also uses NF3 for similar processes. These gases all have very high GWPs1.

Operation of semiconductor manufacturing plants

EU F-Gas Regulations – Semiconductor Manufacture


Exclusion from HFC Phase Down Process

The 2014 F-Gas Regulation includes a process of HFC phase down. This will reduce the quantity of
HFCs that can be sold in the EU – by 2030 there will be an 80% cut in HFC supply

 This phase down process only applies to HFCs – other F-Gases including SF6 and PFCs are not being controlled in this way.

The semiconductor sector is being exempted from the phase down process. In order to purchase HFCs
from outside the new EU quota system, semiconductor manufacturers need to ensure that:

a) NEW: They purchase HFCs that are labelled with an indication that the contents of the
container may only be used for the specialist semiconductor processes for the etching of
semiconductor material or the cleaning of chemical vapour deposition chambers.
b) NEW: That their suppliers ensure that the quantities of HFCs produced and imported for use
in semiconductor manufacturing is properly reported to the European Commission annually.

NEW: General requirement to avoid release of F-Gases

EU F-Gas Regulations – Semiconductor Manufacture

The 2014 F-Gas Regulation states that:

“The intentional release of fluorinated greenhouse gases into the atmosphere shall be prohibited
where the release is not technically necessary for the intended use.

Operators of equipment that contains fluorinated greenhouse gases shall take precautions to prevent
the unintentional release (‘leakage’) of those gases. They shall take all measures which are technically
and economically feasible to minimise leakage of fluorinated greenhouse gases”.

Semiconductor plant operators using F-Gases should ensure that they are in compliance with this
requirement. F-Gases should be used with care and every effort made to avoid unintentional release.

The SRAC industry and the world as a whole, now understand that fluorinated gases have a potentially devastating global warming effect when released into the atmosphere.

F-Gas regulations have been implemented in order to contain, prevent and thereby reduce emissions of fluorinated greenhouse gases.

On 2nd April 2008, the Commission Regulation 303/2008 set out the requirements for a company certification scheme.

This scheme is specifically for businesses working with F-Gas refrigeration, air-conditioning and heat pump equipment containing or designed to contain fluorinated greenhouse gases.

These F-Gas Certification requirements are in accordance with Article 5.1 of EC Regulations 842/2006 on certain fluorinated greenhouse gases (the EC F-Gas Regulation).