Global Warming: Nigeria Phasing Out Hydrochloro-Fluoro-Carbons for Non-Ozone Depleting, Climate-friendly Alternatives

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As part of its commitment to honour multilateral environmental agreements, the administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has scaled up climate actions to act decisively on all fronts to address the triple planetary crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution. It has intensified efforts to completely phase out Nigeria’s baseline consumption of 344.9 Tonnes of Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFC) by 2040. Nigeria is a party to the Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer. This is a multilateral environmental agreement that regulates the production and consumption of man-made chemicals referred to as Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS). Under the treaty, parties including Nigeria have specific responsibilities related to the phase-out of different groups of ODS.

In September 2007, parties to the Protocol decided to accelerate their phase-out schedule for Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFC), used worldwide in refrigeration, air conditioning and foam applications because of their ozone-depleting and powerful greenhouse effect. Nigeria like other developing countries, started the phase-out process in 2013 and is now following a stepwise reduction to complete phase-out by 2040.

On Thursday, Dr. Iziaq Adekunle Salako, Minister of State for Environment was at Sacral Industries Ltd to commission the conversion of the company AC manufacturing line from the use of ozone-depleting substances to ozone and climate-friendly substances including the redesigning and adapting the line for flammable refrigerants through modifications and purchase of new equipment.

Salako said the Hydrochlorofluorocarbons Phase-out Management Plan (HPMP) of Nigeria to completely phase out its 2010 baseline consumption of 344.9 tonnes of HCFC by 2040 through the Federal Ministry of Environment with UNDP & UNIDO as the lead & co-implementing partners respectively was on course with stages 1 & 2 completed. He added that under stage 3, which is ongoing, the focus is to support eligible companies to convert from the use of HCFCs to alternatives that are ozone-friendly and has low global warming potential such as Hydrocarbons which would help Nigeria meets its target of 67.5% reduction in HCFC baseline consumption by 2025.

One of the beneficiary companies assisted under the phase 3 is Sacral Industries Ltd, which hitherto used HCFC-22 & HFC-410a, a climate-potent gas in the manufacture of air conditioning equipment. The assistance provided includes the conversion of the company AC manufacturing line from the use of ozone-depleting substances to ozone and climate-friendly substances, redesigning and adapting the line for flammable refrigerants through modifications and purchase of new equipment, staff training, test running/pilot production and dissemination of lessons learned among others.

Salako said the project would assist the country in its compliance with the Montreal Protocol provisions, thereby raising the country’s status amongst the committee of nations as a model of success in the implementation of the protocol.

“The converted line will lead to the phase-out of 10.93 Metric Tonnes of HCFC-22, thus contributing to the achievement of Nigeria’s 67.5% reduction target of HCFC baseline consumption by 2025. Some of the other benefits the project includes: availability of ozone-friendly and low global warming potential air conditioners in the country. Generation of foreign exchange for the country from the export of the company’s products and foreign exchange savings from local production. Building capacity of our indigenous AC manufacturing companies in the manufacture of ozone and climate-friendly air conditioners. Creation of jobs and generate wealth for the citizens as well as an increased capacity utilization in the company as it manufactures environmentally friendly products”, salako said.

He reaffirmed Nigeria’s commitment to the implementation of the Montreal Protocol including the phase-out of ozone depleting substances in industries. He reiterated that the Government of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR, in line with the Renewed Hope Agenda and the 8 presidential priorities which are anchored on sustainable production and environmental stewardship would continue to put in place necessary policies, regulations and enabling legislations that will sustain Nigeria’s agenda to phase-out of HCFC-22 in the refrigeration & air-conditioning manufacturing sector.

In his address, the deputy director general and the managing director of the Directorate of Technical Cooperation and Sustainable Industrial Development, UNIDO, Ciyong Zou, said the conversation at the Sacral Energy Factory is part of Nigeria’s third phase of phasing out hazardous substances causing ozone depletion. He added that Nigeria was committed to reducing the country’s consumption of ozone-depleting substances by 70 per cent of the baseline set in 2010.

Salako was also at Cool Plus Ltd, Lekki, Lagos to supervise the handing over of certificates and equipment to 32 training centers across Nigeria who have received training and certification from an Italian company on using hydrocarbon refrigerants and improving energy efficiency in the servicing sector. The centers over the next few years are expected to train and certify not less 10, 000 technicians on good refrigeration practices using hydrocarbon refrigerants.

These projects, costing millions of USD are flagship of the Federal Ministry of Environment being implemented in partnership with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and the United Nations Developmemt Programme (UNDP). It is aimed at ensuring that the 2040 targets of Nigeria with respect to the Montreal Protocol is achieved, the Minister noted.

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