The shortages of refrigerant experienced in the spring look set to worsen as the summer progresses, according to experts in the sector.
One said: “The second quarter is traditionally the time of highest demand. R134a is still short and that added to the global shortage of R125 will put real pressure on the R400 blends. I expect 134a to be scarce all through 2011 and probably beyond. Actually what might make demand start to relax is when the HFOs come on stream in volume, but that is unlikely to be for a couple of years at least. But do we yet know whether it 1234yf is a global solution? We haven’t seen much volume as yet”
Refrigerant producers have posted price increases consistently since the beginning of the year. Some R400 blends have risen by over 50 per cent since January, causing one to warn; “The UK is no longer an island. European refrigerant prices are lower than the rest of the world and so they are bound to rise at some point.”
* Some of the top refrigerant specialists in Europe will be debating these issues as tehy exploring the future of refrigerants, both natural and chemical, at RAC’s New Refrigerants Question Time event.
Taking place on May 26 at the Institution of Civil Engineers in London, the event aims to take a practical look at the issues for the refrigeration and air conditioning industries, in the light of new gases, natural alternatives and low-GWP options – and how refrigerant choice will affect the supply chain Alongside panellists from Mexichem, Honeywell, DuPont, Harp and A-Gas are end-users including John Skelton of Sainsbury’s and Brian Churchyard of Asda.
For more information on the event CLICK HERE