Regulatory news

In the past few months there have been a number of articles in the media related to HFC.  Because we have noticed some potentially confusing information in the market, Arkema Inc. is providing an update on recent activity related to HFCs through June 1, 2019.

International

  • The Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol went into effect 01/01/2019 and to date has been ratified by 72 countries. It has not yet been ratified by the U.S.

F-gas

The European F-gas Regulation (No. 517/2014) went into effect on January 1,  2015. The aim of the regulation was to reduce F-gas emissions in the European Union by two-thirds of the levels of 2010 by 2030 and to encourage the use of viable and more climate-friendly alternatives, where they are readily available. In order to do this, the regulation established the following:

  • Cap and phase-down for HFCs
  • Bans or restrictions based on GWP on the use of F-gases in some new equipment, such as refrigerators and air conditioners, insulating foams, and technical aerosols
  • Conditions (for example reporting on quantities of HFCs contained and the need for HFC import quotas) on products and equipment containing or relying upon F-gases
  • Future restrictions on servicing/maintenance of equipment using HFCs
  • Rules regarding containment, use, recovery, and destruction of HFCs

The regulation and its measures will be subject to a full review following the publication of a comprehensive report on its effects no later than December 31, 2022, including, in particular, a forecast of the continued demand for hydrofluorocarbons up to and beyond 2030.

 

Replacement products

According to this regulation, the use of virgin refrigerant with a GWP higher than 2,500 in stationary refrigeration equipment will be prohibited from January 1, 2020 in Europe.  This prohibition will affect mainly the use of R-404A/R-507A in refrigeration applications.  As a replacement product, Arkema offers the Forane® 449A.  

From January 1, 2025, the use of R-410A will be prohibited in single split air-conditioning systems containing less than 3 kg in Europe. Forane® 32 is presented by Arkema as the best replacement for these applications because of its high efficiency.

Arkema has developed a new, non-flammable low-GWP product, Forane® 1233zd, for chillers, foam insulation, and energy recovery applications in order to increase equipment efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions, if other technologies are used.

 

Quota mechanism

The F-gas quota phase down mechanism reduces the quantity of HFCs that can be sold on the European market to 21% equivalent CO2 in 2030, compared to 2015 as a baseline.

Years

Percentage to calculate the maximum quantity of hydrofluorocarbons to be placed on the market and corresponding quotas

2015

100%

2016-2017

93%

2018-2020

63%

2021-2023

45%

2024-2026

31%

2027-2029

24%

2030

21%

Source: REGULATION (EU) No 517/2014

 

For more information on F-gas Regulation, visit the European Partnership for Energy and the Environment (EPEE) website:  https://www.epeeglobal.org/

US Federal

 

  • Both SNAP Rule 20 and Rule 21 have now been vacated to the extent they required HFCs to be replaced. EPA therefore cannot use SNAP de-listings to force anyone already using HFCs to stop or switch to other products.  
  • EPA has announced that it is working on a new proposed rule that will explain how it intends to address HFCs going forward.
  • EPA has issued guidance saying it would not apply any of the HFC SNAP de-listings, including uses where the transition from ODS to HFCs has not yet occurred, pending further rulemaking; a legal challenge to this position has been filed.

US States

  • The U.S. Climate Alliance (USCA) is a coalition of US states and territories committed to upholding the objectives of the 2015 Paris Agreement. It was formed in 2017 and currently has 24 members.
  • Seven of the USCA members have announced that they plan to regulate HFCs – CA, WA, NY, VT, CT, MD and NJ.
  • CA, WA and VT have passed laws adopting many of the SNAP restrictions, some with delayed implementation dates.
  • NY is considering similar action in 2019. A “pre-proposal” was published in 2018 that can be adopted by regulatory action.
  • CT, MD and NJ have stated their intent to control HFC use, but have not yet announced any timing or specifics.
  • Most state legislatures are now adjourned until 2020.

Arkema believes that regulation of HFCs should be market-based, allow for innovation and be uniform (rather than implemented through a patchwork of state and local regulations). However, there is no question that the worldwide transition beyond high GWP HFCs is ongoing and will continue.  Arkema is actively supporting this transition, and we continue to invest in next generation technologies to be available when the market is ready for them.   

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