Belarus is moving towards the use of ozone-friendly refrigerant chemicals in the industrial sector

Dec 21, 2016

Global Environment Fund and the United Nations development programme are helping Belarus to accelerate the phase-out of ozone-depleting substances and transition to new safe refrigeration equipment within the framework of the project "Initial Implementation of Accelerated HCFC Phase Out in the CEIT Region". Representatives of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, the refrigeration industry, educational institutions, national experts gathered in Minsk on December 21 at the final seminar to discuss the results of the project achieved during the three years of its implementation in Belarus.

The project primarily contributed to the implementation of the commitments on HCFC phase-out that Belarus has undertaken under the Montreal Protocol, international environmental agreement that united the efforts of 197 countries in combating the consumption of dangerous substances commonly used in industry and refrigeration technology.

“Many ozone-depleting substances listed under the Montreal Protocol, are also greenhouse gases,” said Natalia Klimenko, consultant of the Department for Regulation of Impact on Ambient Air and Water Resources of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of the Republic of Belarus. “When the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal protocol comes into force, according to the estimates, it can prevent up to 0.5 degrees Celsius of global warming by year 2100, which is a substantial contribution, taking into consideration the long-term goal of the Paris Agreement to keep the increase in global average temperature on Earth below 2 degrees Celsius.”

Among the main achievements of the project is the phase-out of more than 130 tons of ozone-depleting substances, installation of new equipment, as well as the introduction of climate-friendly natural refrigerants in the industrial sector. In addition, the project contributed to the development and improvement of legal framework for regulating the importation and use of HCFCs. Customs officers, environmental inspectors and refrigeration technicians were given the opportunity to undergo special training and retraining programmes on the subject of phasing out substances harmful to the ozone layer, ecology and human health.  

The participants of the seminar studied specific examples of the practical implementation of the goals and objectives of the project. With the aim of gradual replacement of HCFC-141b as solvent, OJSC "David-Gorodok Electromechanical Plant" has been successfully transferred to the ozone-friendly parts cleaning technology used when assembling the relay for the Minsk Refrigerator Plant "Atlant".

As noted by Eduard Nikolaevich Stepura, Director of David-Gorodok Electromechanical Plant, the implementation of the project helped the plant save around 200 million undenominated roubles only in 2016.

New equipment (complete production line) has also been delivered to the Automobile Trailers and Bodies Plant "MAZ-Kupava" Ltd. The assembly of the equipment will be completed in the first quarter of 2017.

The project has helped Belarus obtain international expertise. Belarusian specialists got acquainted with the experience of the EU countries, and used it to develop educational materials. Technical manuals for refrigeration technicians are being translated into Russian as well.

The educational component of the project will continue to be carried out: new educational events for refrigeration technicians and customs officers will be held in 2017 and the beginning of 2018.

Project "Initial Implementation of Accelerated HCFC Phase Out in the CEIT Region" is a part of a major regional initiative, which also includes Tajikistan, the Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.

International technical assistance project of the United Nations Development Programme and Global Environment Fund "Initial Implementation of Accelerated HCFC Phase Out in the CEIT Region" has been implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of the Republic of Belarus in the period from 2013 to 2016. The budget of the initiative amounted to USD 2.2 million. Global Environment Fund acted as the main sponsor of the project.

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