24037099_sVIETNAM: The United Nations is behind a new project to end Vietnam’s dependence on R22 in industrial refrigeration.

The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) will help Vietnam’s cold storage industry convert away from HCFCs towards low GWP refrigerants. Vietnam currently consumes some 3,200 tons of R22 per year and it has been estimated that the country will require around $30m of support to eliminate its dependence on HCFCs.

The project, titled “Reducing greenhouse gas and ozone-depleting substance emissions through technology transfer in industrial refrigeration”, is funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and was officially approved by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) of Viet Nam.

More than 100 participants from government agencies, national private companies, associations, UN agencies, donors, partner technology providers, and refrigeration experts met during the project’s inception workshop today. They shared and discussed technical and policy issues and looked at creating a network of stakeholders.

The project will be based on a combination of technical assistance, policy and regulatory support, technology transfer, capacity building and awareness raising activities. Within its technology transfer component, sustainable and affordable cold storage plants will be promoted in selected demonstration sites, serving as pilot plants for cold storage facilities in Vietnam and elsewhere.

Funds will also be provided by the Vietnamese Environmental Protection Fund (VEPF) in the form of soft loans for companies undertaking technological conversion.

Earlier this year, the Vietnamese government ordered competent agencies to stop licensing new R22 projects or allowing expansion of the production of R22 residential air conditioners with a capacity over 14kW.