EU: huge stockpiling of HFCs

Imports of HFC refrigerants into Europe almost doubled in 2014, the year before quotas were introduced.
Figures recently released by the European Environment Agency through its “Fluorinated greenhouse gases 2014” report show that imports of HFC refrigerants into Europe almost doubled to 122,781 tonnes (260.9Mt CO2 equivalent) in 2014, the year before quotas under the European F-gas regulations were introduced. This huge stockpile is thought to be the reason why refrigerant prices, particularly for the higher GWP gases, have not risen as predicted by many industry experts.

While bulk imports of fluorinated gases had been declining from 2010 to 2013, HFC bulk imports in 2014 were about 90% above 2013 levels, both by mass and CO2 equivalent.

The figures are based on submissions by companies on the production, import and export of fluorinated greenhouse gases in the European Union for 2014, the first year of compulsory reporting under the new EU F-gas Regulation.

Leaving aside the other fluorinated greenhouse gases (SF6, PFCs, etc.), HFCs are said to account for about 95% of the increase in bulk imports and around 75% of all reported imports were destined for use as refrigerants for refrigeration, air conditioning and heating purposes.