Brexit - Don't Go Cold On Natural Refrigerants

21 March 2017

With Brexit looming the recent Budget prompted more debate and intrigue than usual as the impact of European Union legislation begins to waiver. Debate around the future of the catering industry includes a lot of discussion about F-gas and its effects on refrigeration gas production, equipment, service and maintenance.

Natural Refrigerants

Steve James, Refrigeration Manager for First Choice Group, said current regulations seem to have stirred short term anxiety on the subject.

“As Europe continues with its phase down of selected HFC gases there seems a tendency among food manufacturers and temperature controlled storage and distribution firms to take a long term, strategic view of their refrigeration systems,” he said.

"They are doing this in order to mitigate potential, significant future financial costs. But I’d argue that this is unnecessary.
“Over the next five years high risk refrigerants will become harder to source and more expensive as they will be in high demand. Users of refrigeration systems that operate on HFCs need to be aware that these gases are at risk in the near future.
“The message from Europe is clear; HFC refrigerants are not a viable long term solution and refrigeration plant operators should look to invest in futureproof cooling systems to avoid escalating costs and ensure uninterrupted business operation.”

"Natural refrigerants are one of the long-term solutions for companies affected by the F-Gas regulations. While the initial purchase cost may be higher it is the lifecycle cost of running the system which is key. Those who continue to operate cooling systems with HFCs face the risk of escalating running costs in the short to medium term.

“The Current F-gas regulations (EU) are phasing out HFC, based on a quota shared across the EU community. If a member state leaves the community it is possible that the EU may re-calculate the division of the quota across its remaining members, effectively giving each member state a larger share of the quota.

“As the UK leaves the union it is also possible, although unlikely, that Government could re-examine the regulation and adopt a new quota or completely change its strategy. The current commitment by the UK is to reduce the overall usage of HFC refrigerants by 21 per cent (off the 2009-2012 sales average) by 2030.

“Under article 2 of the F-gas Regulation once equipment is released by an importer for free circulation it is considered to have been placed on the market. Equipment imported under the inward processing procedure, is not considered to have been placed on the market, neither is equipment imported for transit, temporary storage, customs warehousing or duty free zone procedures.

“To comply with the HFC phase-down importers must indicate the amount of refrigerant pre-charged in the equipment, measured in tonnes CO2 equivalent. This applies to both the gas contained in the circuits of the equipment and reportable gases used in other parts of the equipment, such as the insulation foams.”

Published : 21 March 2017 09:21