Over $30 mln needed to free Vietnam from ozone-depleting substances

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Vietnam will need over US$30 million to remove 3.7 trillion tons of  hydro-chlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), ozone-depleting substances, within the next 20 years, according to a national plan announced Tuesday.

The plan was introduced at a meeting of the Southeast Asia region's ozone experts held by the Hydro-Meteorological and Climate Change Department in cooperation with the United Nations Environment Program in Ho Chi Minh City on Tuesday.

The first stage of the plan to be conducted from 2012 to 2016 will be supported with nearly $10 million from the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, which Vietnam signed in January, 1994.

The grant will be given to 12 local companies across the country with technology that uses ozone-depleting substance HCFC-141b. They will be asked to replace old technology with new ozone-friendly substances, according to the plan.

Part of it will also be used to encourage energy saving measures in the fields of cooling and air conditioning, while decreasing the use of HCFC-22 in cooling devices and freezers of seafood industry.

The second stage will be submitted to the fund for approval in 2015.

Since it signed the protocol, Vietnam has removed 500 billion tons of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) often used in air conditioners and refrigerators. Last year it also started a plan to remove HCFCs.

Last year the country imported and used nearly 3.7 trillion tons of HCFCs, 10 percent of which will have to be removed by 2015 under the Montreal Protocol.

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