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China seeks international flammable refrigerants expertise

Centro Studi Galileo holds specialist training for Chinese officials to aid with shift from HFCs post Kigali Agreement


Training body Centro Studi Galileo (CSG) has expanded the global reach of a specialised assessment process designed to aid nations with the safe handling of alternative and eco-friendly refrigerants as part of wider attempts to move away from HFC use.

A delegation of Chinese officials representing government and academic institutions last week underwent training at the CSG headquarters in Casale Monferrato to take up customised training focused on challenges from adopting different gasses for air-conditioning and refrigeration purposes.

The training, which is supported by the EU-funded Real Alternatives for Life project, is the latest in a series of collaborations between CSG and Chinese officials reflecting an international push to curb reliance on Global Warming Potential (GWP) refrigerants.

It was devised with the assistance of air conditioning and refrigeration stakeholders such as private sector senior technicians, and culminated in an assessment session being held to provide the Chinese delegation with a globally recognised Italian Licence for Refrigeration Technicians.

Interest in phasing out of HFCs follows the signing last year of the Kigali Agreement that introduced revisions to the longstanding Montreal Protocol.

“The Kigali Amendment, which was signed by all of the parties, requires all involved nations to gradually switch from using Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which can be powerful greenhouse gases with a high global-warming potential rate, in favour of natural gases or the brand new synthetic 4th Generation Hydrofluoroolefin (HFOs),” said CSG in a statement. “Although these greener alternatives have a lower polluting potential, they also have some features, such as high flammability which mean that specific training is required for their safe handling.”

Considering these specific needs, a particular focus of last week’s training was to consider safety issues in industrial systems working with ammonia, hydrocarbon plants and cascade refrigeration systems with carbon dioxide.

The training programme builds on wider work between CSG and a number of nations including the US, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, India, and the UAE.

“CSG is not new to organising training in collaboration with foreign countries, and their involvement in doing so has even been requested by the United Nations through the agencies UN Environment and UNIDO,” said the training body.

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