In a renewed effort to ensure the phasing out of Hydro-chlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) by 2040 in line with the Montreal Protocol Agreement on Substances that deplete the ozone layer to which Nigeria is a party to, the Federal Ministry of Environment has recently in Ogun State commissioned a hydrocarbon plant to produce high grade hydrocarbon refrigerants to be used in the refrigeration services sector.
While speaking at the commissioning ceremony, the Minister of State for Environment, Ibrahim Usman Jibril averred that the commissioning of the plant will greatly mitigate the negative consequences on the ecological system and human health occasioned by the use of Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS). He also stated that the first stage implementation of the Hydro-chlorofluorocarbons Phase out Management Plan (HPMP) which commenced in 2011 is expected to be completed before the end of 2015.
According to him, the hydrocarbon pilot project is one of the main components of the project and it is designed to demonstrate the feasibility of replacing the current use of HCFCs refrigerant in the Refrigeration and Air-conditioning (RAC) sector with the hydrocarbon refrigerant – based technology.
The Minister further noted that the Ministry will ensure that stakeholders in the sector nationwide are properly trained in the use of this new technology. Adding, economic development has largely been unsustainable because it has been supported by the use of hydrocarbon fuel and chemicals which unfortunately are damaging the ecosystem and human health. He maintained that with the commissioning of the plant, there will be a remarkable economic development as the project has the potential for job creation, provision of foreign exchange and the building of local capacity to produce energy – efficient low Global Warming Potential (GWPs) gases amongst other benefits.
Ibrahim Jibril called on the private sector to invest in the operation and marketing of the hydrocarbon refrigerants products, stressing that the Governments is considering harnessing the products of the hydrocarbon plant (Butane) as a source of clean fuel for cooking, being an alternative for firewood.
IKENNE (Federal Ministry of Environment Report)
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