World Bank funds ozone protection efforts in Vietnam

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The Work Bank has approved a US$9.76 million grant to support Vietnam's efforts to phase out ozone-depleting substances within two years beginning in 2013.

According to a press release issued by the bank on Wednesday, the aid, approved one day earlier, aims to help Vietnam reduce its consumption of hydro-chlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) in the polyurethane (PU) foam sector.

It came from the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol, an international agreement asking its developing country signatories to gradually reduce HCFCs as of 2013 and completely remove them by 2030, the bank said in the statement.

Most advanced technologies will be introduced to reduce some 1,275 metric tons of HCFC-141b, which is used as a solvent and a foam blowing agent by 12 large foam production companies in Vietnam, it said.

Vietnamese companies use several types of HCFCs for various industrial purposes, including HCFC-22 for refrigeration and air-conditioning manufacturing and for servicing existing equipment and appliances; and HCFC-123 for servicing cooling equipment, it added.

The HCFC phase-out in Vietnam will be accomplished through the introduction of alternatives which have little to no potential to increase global warming, according to the World Bank.

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Since it signed the Montreal Protocol in January 1994, the country has removed 500 billion tons of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) often used in air conditioners and refrigerators, and 3.8 tons of halon, a fire extinguishing agent, according to statistics released at a meeting in September.

A national plan announced last year revealed that Vietnam would need more than $30 million to remove 3.7 trillion tons of HCFCs over the next 20 years.

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