‘Adopting various policies of the government, it will be possible to phase out HCFCs by 67.5% by 2025’
Environment Minister Md Shahab Uddin on Saturday said five Bangladeshi manufacturing companies and one chiller company would produce eco-friendly and energy efficient air conditioners (ACs) by December 2022.
The move would come in order to implement the Vienna Convention and the Montreal Protocol adopted to protect the ozone layer, he added.
He made the statement while speaking as chief guest at a program titled, "Protect the Ozone Layer, Build a Safe Food and a Cool World of Antidotes," organized by Walton Hi-Tech Industries to mark World Ozone Day, at its corporate office at Bashundhara on Saturday.
The minister said: “At present, by receiving financial and technical assistance from the government, five air conditioner manufacturing companies and one chiller manufacturing company are working to produce environmentally-friendly and energy efficient ACs in Bangladesh.”
“Bangladesh has passed all stages of the implementation of the Montreal Protocol in a timely manner and is complying with the obligations of the protocol. In recognition of this endeavour, Bangladesh was awarded by the United Nations Environment Program in 2012 and 2017,” he added.
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“By adopting various policies of the government, it will be possible to reduce the use of Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) by 67.5% by 2025,” the minister added.
The project is being implemented by Phase-Out Management Plan (HPMP) Stage-2. The minister hoped that upon a successful completion of the program, the country would avoid greenhouse gas emissions, equivalent to around 1.7 million tons of carbon dioxide.
Five air conditioner manufacturing companies are taking part in this initiative. They are Walton High-tech industries, Elite High-tech industries, Supreme Air Conditioning, Supreme Air Conditioner and Unitech. The chiller, meanwhile, will be manufactured by Cooling Point Engineering.
Dr Satyendra Kumar Purkayastha, senior officer of the Ozone Cell of the Department of Environment, said that ACs would be graded by the Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI) before being launched in the local market.
“The products will be rated according to their quality by BSTI. The MD [managing director] of Walton has suggested not keeping this rating system bound within the six companies only, but rather that it be open for all AC manufacturing companies and foreign AC importers in Bangladesh. That way, it will be a level playing field for everybody,” he added.
The official said that the government was considering the proposal.
Around 10,000 technicians employed in the refrigeration sector have been trained and customs officers have also received necessary training to prevent smuggling of ozone-depleting substances (ODS).
It was also mentioned in the minister’s statement that the Department of the Environment (DoE) was recognized by the World Customs Organization, the United Nations Environment Program and the Ozone Secretariat in 2019. The recognition came following the country’s significant contributions in controlling illegal entry and import of ODS.
Deputy Environment Minister Habibun Nahar was present on the occasion as special guest, while DoE Director General Md Ashraf Uddin presided over the function.