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Firms Need to Act Now to Meet Refrigerant Rules

Topping up chillers for air conditioning and refrigeration units with the refrigerant R-22 will be illegal in the European Union by the end of the year and food and other perishable cargo store operators have been warned that they must act now or risk the continuity of mechanical cooling services that depend upon it.

The European Union has already banned the refrigerant in new plant, but only recycled R-22 may be used to top up plant from January 2010. Its use will be completely outlawed by 2105, though there are suggestions that the European Commission may bring this final date forward by up to three years.

Dr John Davey of leading UK refrigerant specialist Harp International says: “There is a vast amount of equipment out there still running on R-22. It is estimated that up to a third of the cooling systems in the UK depend on it. For many cargo operators, it is critical to their operations. Managers must act now, as time is running out.”

A Carbon Trust survey of 350 organizations showed that 70% have at least one cooling system using R-22. It warns: “In most cases, these refrigeration air conditioning plants are of strategic importance, as they provide crucial cooling.”

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