In a push to move away from ozone-depleting R22, but mindful of the high GWP of alternative refrigerant R410A, Thailand has been promoting the adoption of R32 under its HCFC Phase-out Project. The Thailand Ministry of Finance and the World Bank signed a US$23.9m funding deal in November 2014.
Japanese manufacturer, and R32 pioneer, Daikin has also been providing technical assistance to Saijo Denki and 11 other Thai air conditioning equipment manufacturers to convert production from R22 to R32. Daikin’s involvement was backed by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI).
Karin Shepardson, World Bank Montreal Protocol programme manager, said: “The shift by the Thai air conditioning industry to bringing more climate friendly equipment to consumers can provide a model for other businesses and industries.”
The R32 air conditioners are said to be 5-10% more energy efficient and have a 10% higher cooling capacity than older models, according to Saijo Denki.
Welcoming the initiative of the Thai private sector and the strong leadership of the Thai Government, Ulrich Zachau, World Bank country director for Thailand, said: “Countries such as Thailand can consider adopting a procurement policy that demands or favours the use of ozone and climate friendly products, in order to promote the further development and use of such products.”
Thailand has previously announced a policy to complete conversion from R22 to R32 by 2017. Indonesia has made a similar pledge.