9194923_sCHINA: China has announced it will close five of its HCFC refrigeration production lines –16% of total production – by 2015.

The announcement, made at an event commemorating the International Day for the Preservation of Ozone Layer, was attended by representatives of the Chinese government, UNEP’s Ozone Secretariat and the World Bank. The closure would result in the phase-out of 58,864 tons of HCFC production, nearly 16% of the total HCFC production that China has agreed to close by 2030.

China is currently the world’s largest producer, user and exporter of HCFCs.  In 2010 the production of controlled use of HCFCs was 445,000 tons, accounting for 78.5% of total world production. 

“Management and phase-out of ODS in the production sectors is the most effective way to achieve elimination. Through quotas management, China’s HCFC production in 2013 was reduced by 8.38% over the baseline year (2009-2010 average), and consumption reduced by 9.14% over the baseline year,” said vice minister Zhai Qing of China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection. “This is an important step and a significant milestone in the first stage of China’s HCFC phase-out effort.”

Since April 2013, the Government of China, in concert with the World Bank Group, has been working with enterprises on the first stage of China’s HCFC production sector phase-out plan, itself part of a larger strategy to completely eliminate the country’s production capacity of ozone depleting substances by 2030. This stage is supported by US$95m grant from the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol (MLF), which disburses against verified annual reductions of HCFC production levels.

“China is a key player in the Montreal Protocol’s HCFC phase-out objectives,” said Bert Hofman, World Bank country director for China. “Today’s announced decrease in China’s HCFC production is a major step in the direction of meeting China’s Protocol obligations ahead of schedule.

The first stage of China’s HCFC production closure effort will also yield important benefits in the elimination of HFC23, a high GWP by-product of R22 production, at two of the enterprises.  The five enterprises include Yingpeng Chemical Co, Zhejiang DongYang Chemical Co, Jiangsu Blue Star Green Technology Co, Hangzhou First Chemical Co, and Yantai Zhongrui Chemical Co.