The Kingdom of Eswatini is conducting a survey on the consumption and usage of HFCs in the country. The survey is necessary as the initial step towards achieving the HFC phase-down commitments of the country. It is very important for the country not only to know and document the amounts of HFCs imported but most importantly the HFC-dependent equipment it has. Therefore, the survey will take stock of all the different HFCs and the applications/sectors in which they are used as well as the types and numbers of equipment in which they are used. These include refrigerators, chillers, display fridges, stationery air-conditioners, cold rooms, refrigerated trucks, car air-conditioning and others. From this list it is evident that almost everyone is a stakeholder and has some data which can inform this survey.
The survey is very important because for the country to be able to develop a phase-down strategy, it’s crucial to know what we have. This will inform the development of phase-down action plan and the required resources.
The phase-down strategy will be implemented to ensure that the country complies with her obligations under the protocol; and make meaningful contribution to the fight against climate change. Reducing the use of high GWP HFCs and HCFCs is one of the most cost-effective ways of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Under the Paris Agreement on climate change, Eswatini has made an Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) specifying the level of GHG emission reduction that the country will aim to achieve. Reducing the use and emissions of HFCs and HCFCs through rapid action can make a useful early contribution to these emission reduction targets.
Palfridge Ltd is a manufacturer of domestic and commercial refrigerators. The factory is situated in Swaziland and the company is 98% locally owned and employs 638 workers and staff.
Palfridge Limited has phased out the use of HCFC 141b in its PU insulation foam production for domestic and commercial refrigerators. The company completed the conversion project of refrigerants HCFC22 and HFC 134a to isobutene and propane refrigerants.
Training of Trainers and Service Technicians
The Swaziland Environment Authority has trained a lot of service technicians on good refrigeration practices in the country and continues to so in each and every year to build capacity. These technicians are from the formal and informal servicing sector throughout the country. With the high number of refrigeration technicians, continuous training to sustain the ODS phase out and the expanding of the expanding refrigeration industry should be done.
The Swaziland National Refrigeration Association was formed at a training workshop for refrigeration technicians held from the 22nd to 26th August 2011 at MITC, Manzini. The training had been held to build capacity of refrigeration technicians to uphold good refrigeration practices in the country. During the training, the concept of forming a refrigeration constitution was introduced. The need to form the association was highlighted and reasons cited were that the association would be of major assistance to technicians when carrying out their day to day work. Other reasons put forward were that it would help;
• Organize the profession of refrigeration;
• Assist the National Ozone Unit in data collection in the refrigeration sector;
• Raise awareness of their members on the harmful effects of refrigeration ODS on human health and the environment;
• Strengthen the capacity of refrigeration sector to Reduce Emission and consumption of ODS;
• Participate in the implementation of policies, strategies, programs and projects for the implementation of the Montreal Protocol.
Three Vocational training institutions, Gwamile VOCTIM, MITC, and SCOT were identified to serve as referral centers for training of technicians and also management of some set of equipments for the technicians in the country. They are also used to collect data on ODS consumption. UNEP and UNDP have been strengthening these institutions through the provision of equipment building their capacity.
Numerous sets of equipment have been delivered in the past such as refrigerant identifiers, cylinders, and compressors etc. below are some of the donated equipment to institutions. There is need to upgrade the curricula of programmes in these institutes to incorporate the good refrigeration practices including hydrocarbon technology.
Elimination of ODS and how the country has done so far
Swaziland has been robust in its fight against the consumption of Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) to meet the Montreal Protocol targets. The country is aimed at achieving a total phase out of ODS by 2030 which will be achieved in a step staged approach. The first stage was the baseline freeze which was achieved in 2013, secondly, the 10% and thirdly the 35 % reductions in 2015 and 2020 respectively.
About 64 metric tonnes of refrigerants were consumed in Swaziland in pre 2009. During this year most of the refrigerants (80%) were consumed by the commercial and industrial sector, followed by the domestic sector which took up about 18 percent, and the least user was mobile air conditioning with about 2 percent.
The country has been lucky to achieve even more than the targeted reductions in a short space of time. This has been achieved quickly through the conversion of the Palfridge factory from using ODS (R141b) to a natural refrigerant, cyclopentane. The major consumer of ODS in the country had been the Palfridge factory (commercial and industrial sector) which consumed 69000 kgs of ODS per year before phasing it out to use natural refrigerants. This means there will be a 50% reduction of ODS in the country.
The Swaziland ODS regulations have been in existence since 2003. The regulations are part of the Environment Management Act (2002) in the country. These regulations regulate imports and exports of ODS and ODS dependent equipment. The regulations further provide for a licensing system on importation of ODS and ODS dependent equipment into the country.
The licensing and quota system is fully operational in Swaziland to further safeguard against the use of ODS in the Swaziland. To further safeguard against projects that might use ODS in the country, the Swaziland Government adopted the Environmental Audit, Assessment and Review Regulations, 2000, which provide for the undertaking of Environmental Impact Assessment and Audits for new and existing projects.
New regulations have come into effect which have amended the old ODS regulations of 2003. These are called “The Ozone Depleting Substance (Amendment) Regulations, 2014” which were passed and gazetted in 2014 and shall be read as one with the ODS regulations of 2003. These new regulations put into effect new developments that have been brought about by the Montreal Protocol to cover the HCFC baseline freeze of 2013, the 10% and 35 % reductions in 2015 and 2020 respectively.
These regulations have included in them, the mandatory registration of importers and exporters of controlled substances or controlled products, issued quota allocations for importers and exporters.