Wilhelmsen Ships Service is taking up the initiative to highlight the mandatory requirement for the phase-out of virgin HCFC (hydro chlorofluorocarbon) refrigerants, the most commonly used being R-22.The EU phase-out means that it will be prohibited to top up refrigeration systems on board EU-flagged vessels using virgin HCFCs after 1st January 2010.
Sten Rath, Refrigerants Product Marketing Manager at Wilhelmsen Ships Service, explained “We are working closely with our customers to maximise awareness of the regulation, advising them of the company’s change-over solution and implementing a phase-out plan as quickly as possible, within budget, to achieve compliance.”
On EU-flagged vessels it will still be legal to use reclaimed R-22 from an approved company within the EU to top up and service systems until 2015. However, the availability of reclaimed R-22 is very limited, so prices are rising and are expected to remain high for the foreseeable future.
Although this legislation (EC2037) only applies to EU-flagged vessels, other vessels will also be affected if they call at EU ports and request virgin R-22. Ships carrying flags from places that have not ratified the Montreal Protocol will not be able to legally obtain virgin R-22 from a vendor inside the European Union. This will violate the restrictions on trade laid down in the Montreal Protocol.
As part of its strong commitment to the environment, Wilhelmsen Ships Service is firmly focussed on legal trade with marine refrigerants. The company has a comprehensive knowledge of the global development of local regulations that supports the phase-out of HCFCs, and this technical expertise enables it to help its customers achieve and maintain the best solution.