acrib1UK: Industry body ACRIB has repeated warnings on the likely future availability of R404A in a new guidance note.

The document warns buyers to “consider carefully whether it makes economic sense to use R404A in new equipment” and to “strongly consider equipment that uses lower GWP alternatives”.

ACRIB further advises that suppliers and end users should seek the views of equipment manufacturers, refrigerant producers and suppliers about the effect quotas may have on their ability to supply R404A in future and the suitability of lower GWP alternatives available for the application in question. 

Carel-HumiFogDescribing the HFC phase down, ACRIB points out that the quantities allowed to be placed on the market in 2016 and 2018 will be reduced by 7% and 37%. Furthermore, in 2017, pre‐charged equipment from outside the EU must be included within the quota for the first time, which may account for as much as 10% of use.

The annual allocations are based on CO2 equivalents, rather than tonnage, and refrigerant suppliers exactly which gases they wish to supply.

“In simplistic terms this means it is possible to supply larger quantities of lower GWP refrigerants than higher GWP refrigerants such as R404A,” ACRIB explains.   

“It is not known precisely what effect the reductions in quota will have on the supply of R404A in 2016, 2017 and 2018, except that the overall use of high GWP refrigerants such as R404A will need to reduce significantly during that period and cannot continue at current levels.”

The document can be viewed and downloaded here.

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