China announces HCFC shutdown

China has announced it will close five of its HCFC refrigeration production lines, nearly 16% of total production, by 2015.
China has announced it will close five of its HCFC refrigeration production lines, nearly 16% of total production, by 2015.

The announcement, made at an event commemorating the International Day for the Preservation of Ozone Layer, was attended by senior representatives of the Government of China, the Ozone Secretariat of the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) and the World Bank. This closure will result in the phase-out of 58,864 tons of HCFC production, in the reduction of HCFC production capacity by 88,000 tons and in the elimination of over 93 million tons of CO2 equivalent in greenhouse-gas emissions. The announced closure of HCFCs production lines by 2015 accounts for nearly 16% of the total HCFC production that China has agreed to close by 2030.

China is currently the world’s largest producer, user and exporter of HCFCs.  In 2010, the production of controlled use of HCFCs was 445,000 tons, accounting for 78.5% of total world production.
“Management and phase-out of ODS in the production sectors is the most effective way to achieve elimination. Through quota management, China’s HCFC production in 2013 was reduced by 8.38% over the baseline year (2009-2010 average), and consumption reduced by 9.14% over the baseline year,” said vice minister Zhai Qing of China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection. “This is an important step and a significant milestone in the first stage of China’s HCFC phase-out effort.”
Since April 2013, the Government of China, in concert with the World Bank Group, has been working with enterprises on the first stage of China’s HCFC production sector phase-out plan, itself part of a larger strategy to completely eliminate the country’s production capacity of ozone depleting substances by 2030.

“China is a key player in the Montreal Protocol’s HCFC phase-out objectives,” said Bert Hofman, World Bank country director for China. “Today’s announced decrease in China’s HCFC production is a major step in the direction of meeting China’s Protocol obligations ahead of schedule. It also generates major benefits in the battle against climate change: The reductions equate to taking approximately 19.5 million cars off the roads, or eliminating annual emissions from 24 coal-fired power plants.”
The first stage of China’s HCFC production closure effort will also yield important benefits in the elimination of R23, a high GWP by-product of R22 production.

China, like other developing countries, was required to freeze its HFC consumption and production to the 2009-2010 average by 2015. The next target to be met involves a 10% reduction of this baseline by 2015, then 35% by 2020, then 67.5%by 2025, and a near complete elimination by 2030. Last year, China received a grant of USD 95 million to reduce production of ozone-depleting substances. It also signed a landmark agreement with the United States to work in partnership to fulfil obligations under the Montreal Protocol.