The Middle East is a high growth region for the HVACR industry, but the phaseout of R22 and the drive towards lower GWP refrigerants raise important questions about how the sector will change in the next few years. Stuart Corr, Techno Commercial Director of refrigerant manufacturer and supplier Mexichem, discusses alternative refrigerants for the region.
To better understand the situation, we need to take a step back to the 1987 Montreal Protocol, which set out to eliminate certain ozone depleting substances (ODSs), notably chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and the transitional HCFCs. These ODSs were widely replaced by the ozone-benign hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). However, regulation is a dynamic process and with increased focus on man-made global warming, the Kigali Amendment to the Protocol in October 2016 sought to incorporate HFCs for the first time with a proposed phase down in their global production and consumption.
Honeywell today said it will end sales of Genetron 404A (R-404A) and Genetron AZ-50 (R-507) refrigerants in the European Union in 2018 as contracts permit, in order to meet the deadline set by the European Union’s F-Gas Regulations, which stipulate the phase-out of high GWP HFCs by 2020.
The company has acted ahead of the expected scarcity of high GWP products due to the F-gas Regulation phase-down schedule, which determines how much refrigerant can be placed on the European market each year, based on GWP.