Ho Chi Minh City authorities have stopped licensing new businesses using hydro-chlorofluorocarbons (HCFC) in production, as Vietnam is expected to reduce its consumption of the substances next year under an international agreement.
Under the city People’s Committee’s decision, businesses that produce and assemble air-conditioners of less than 48,000 BTUs, using refrigerant R22 gas, or HCFC-22, are now not allowed to be established or expand, Thoi bao Kinh te Saigon (Saigon Times) Online reported.
Previously, municipal authorities also issued a ban on the establishment of new businesses that produce heatproof foam using blowing agent R141b gas, or HCFC-141b.
Authorities also planned to restrict and then stop the use of freezers with R22 gas in the field of seafood processing, according to the report.
Luong Duc Khoa, a coordinator of ozone-related programs under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, was quoted as saying that just a few air-conditioner producers using HCFC-22 are operating in HCMC, including Chinese-owned ones.
He said most freezers used in the city are produced in other localities.
Vietnam will have to reduce it by 10 percent next year under the 1987 Montreal Protocol it signed in January 1994, but the consumption of HCFCs in the country has increased by 15 percent annually, the news report said.
Every year Vietnam consumes some 3,200 tons of HCFC-22 in the production of air-conditioners and freezers, and more than 500 tons of HCFC-141b, and nearly 7,000 tons of polyol – a compound containing HCFC-141b – in foam production.
Le Khac Hieu, deputy chief of the ministry’s Hydro-Meteorological and Climate Change Department, said Vietnam needs US$30 million to help local businesses totally remove HCFCs from production activities through 2030.