F-Gas News: EC supportive of F-Gas member state assistance measures, not exemptions

Some major manufacturers meanwhile hope to respond to current price challenges by collaborating on enhanced reclamation and reuse programmes

Cooling industries across Europe will not be receiving special exemptions to help with the spiralling costs of higher-GWP refrigerant, with EU member states being urged to back support programmes instead.

The stance was among key outcomes of the latest F-Gas consultation forum held in March with some industry players now announcing their own intention to step up a focus on reclaiming gas already in the market that is not affected by F-Gas quota limits for a much longer period of time.

Industry stakeholders were told during the event that the current surge in prices for commonly used refrigerant was a sign that the mechanisms introduced via F-Gas regulation there were intended to push users towards lower GWP products were working.

With concerns about prices touched upon during the event, the focus instead shifted to how national governments should be urged to provide support for industry to switch to alternative refrigerant and systems.

The fact that emissions from HFCs have now started to reduce for the first time was cited as evidence that the move to more stringent F-Gas mechanisms was achieving the key aims of steadily reducing HFC quota and ultimately ending their use. However, some cooling industry stakeholders continue to express concern about the impacts of surging prices on the present market and the viability of their operations.

Two key elements have been identified to help transition industry and its customers away from higher GWP gas. These include encouraging increased use of reclaimed refrigerant that is cleared for use for ten more years after the virgin versions of the same gas are banned.

The other focus would be in rolling out training for working with lower GWP refrigerant that is mildly flammable in the case of HFOs and R32, or products that have pressure and flammability considerations in the case of CO2 and hydrocarbons.

In response to the calls on reclaimed refrigerant, AC giant Daikin, which is in the unique position of being both an equipment and refrigerant manufacturer, has announced that it will seek to improve reclamation throughout its supply chain via an increased focus on three key aspects.

These aspects are identified by the company as:

-Reduction of the amount of refrigerant charge
-Enhanced refrigerant recovery through reclamation and reuse
-Further reduction of leakage

Source: RAC plus