By Fidelis Terwase
The Federal Government, World Bank, UNIDO, UNEP, and other stakeholders have expressed determination to completely phase out 344,85 ODP tonnes of HCFCs by January 2040.
This is coming preparatory to the completion of the healing phase of the ozone layer.
Speaking on Ozone Day celebration in Abuja, the Minister of Environment, Barr. Mohammed Abdullahi, represented by Mr. Charles Ikeah, acknowledged that the project is being implemented in stages, adding that the stage 1, was completed in 2018.
According to him, the ministry, in collaboration with UNDP and UNIDO completed and commissioned a pilot demonstration hydrocarbon plant for the production of High-grade Hydrocarbon Refrigerants to be used as alternatives to HCFC-22 in the Refrigeration & Air conditioning (RAC) in 2015.
He said: “Over 75 low pressure foaming machines designed to use Ozone friendly blowing agents were distributed to ice block making machines manufacturers, for the production of thermal insulation for preservation of materials.
“Additionally, 34 other beneficiaries were trained on techniques for safe foaming operations in the manufacture of refrigeration equipment. These activities enabled us to phase out 79.5 ODP tonnes and 10 ODP tonnes of HCFC-141b & HCFC-22 consumptions, respectively, thereby meeting our compliance obligations under the Protocol by achieving the 10% reduction of our HCFC importation from the baseline in 2015.”
The Minister reiterated that over 30 years, Federal Government in collaboration with UNDP, UNIDO, GIZ, World Bank and UNEP as the Implementing Agencies, has been implementing the Montreal Protocol’s Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) phase out programme in Nigeria.
He said Nigeria signed the protocol in 1988 and subsequently ratified all its related Amendments, namely the London, Beijing, Copenhagen and Montreal.
In order to further protect the climate, he explained that Nigeria also ratified the Kigali Amendment on phase down of Hydrofluorocarbons, which are gases with high global warming potentials, used as cooling agents in the refrigeration and air conditioning sector.
He said: “In line with the Protocol’s ODS phase-out schedule, the ministry has assisted over 700 large, Small and Medium Scale (SMEs) enterprises in the foam, refrigeration and air conditioning, aerosols, fire-protection and solvent sectors to convert to ozone friendly substances and technologies.
“This resulted in 100 percent phase out of over 4000 Metric Tonnes of Ozone Depleting Substances, with high Ozone Depletion Potentials namely, ChloroFluoroCarbons) CFCs) Holes Carbon Tetrachloide and Methyl Bromide in 2010.
“In addition, 26 Institutions (Polytechnics and Government Technical Colleges) were identified and equipped to serve as Training Centers on Good Refrigeration Practices.
“FG have also trained the trainers from the identified centers and developed Training Manuals on Good Refrigeration Practices. These have led to the training of more than 10,000 refrigeration technicians in the refrigeration servicing sector.
“We have also trained more than 850 chemical regulatory and enforcement officers on identification of Ozone depleting substances, in order to ensure their effective control and provided the relevant agencies with Ozone depleting substances refrigerants identifiers.
“These and other ODS phase out activities were achieved with support from the Multilateral Fund (MLF) for the implementation of the Montreal Protocol, which provides assistance to parties operating under Article 5 (developing countries) of the protocol to meet their compliance obligations.”
He acknowledged that in preparation for the phase out of Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) with trade names: R-22 and R-141b, which are gases mainly used in Nigeria as refrigerants and blowing agents in the refrigeration and air conditioning and foam sectors, the Protocol provided us with both technical and financial support for conversion of enterprises to non-Ozone Depleting Substances Technologies.
He added that this led to the protocol approving the Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCS) Phase out Management Plan (HPMP) project for us in 2011.
The Minister said: “As we celebrate this year’s WOD, we must not be carried away with our achievements but should be more committed to sustain the gains made so far The Ministry will continue to engage and partner with relevant stakeholders in our efforts to protect the Ozone Layer and Climate and also contribute to global efforts to safeguard all life on earth.
FG hereby re-affirms its commitment to the Montreal Protocol and its ODS Phase-out Programme. I use this opportunity to acknowledge with thanks the efforts of our Implementing Agencies namely UNDP, UNIDO, UNEP, GIZ, World Bank and government of Italy, for their support and cooperation over the years in the implementation of the Montreal Protocol.
“I appreciate our existing collaboration with relevant Government Agencies, particularly National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS). I also acknowledge the cooperation of other relevant stakeholders and urge the media to support our efforts in raising awareness of our activities.
“I assure you that we will continue to carry all stakeholders along as we continue with implementation of our ODS phase out activities. The importance of cooling cannot be overemphasized as it is critical for human wellbeing, health, agriculture and many more applications.
“It enables thermal comfort of societies at high temperatures and is required for industrial production and preservation of food, medicine and vaccines. Recognizing this, my Ministry in collaboration with UNDP, through support from the Kigali Cooling Efficiency Programme (KCEP) Project, now Clean Cooling Collaborative carried out activities towards the promotion of Energy Efficiency in the Cooling Sector, especially in the integration of Energy Efficiency in to the Refrigeration & AC servicing sector and the transformation of the market of in-efficient cooling equipment to more efficient ones.