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Continued reliance on R22 causes concern

WITH only 17 months before the ban on the use of virgin HCFCs, a new study has shown that 65% of cooling installations still use these refrigerants, primarily R22.

The results of the study by DuPont in nine key EU markets raise questions about the level of preparedness in the market for the EU ban on virgin HCFCs in 2010.

Spanning across industry sectors representing the largest users of refrigerants, the survey revealed various types of cooling installations, all of which still contain significant banks of HCFCs, ranging from 57% of chillers to 76% of air conditioning installations. Although awareness levels of the legislation are high - 90% of respondents claimed to be aware of the impending ban - the large banks of HCFCs that remain suggest that this has not been coupled with a sense of urgency to ensure compliance. Of those who have not yet taken action, 17% claim to have no intention to do so.

DuPont estimates that with several million installations across the EU using R22, tens of thousands of these installations will need to be serviced every week in order to ensure compliance by 2010, putting a significant strain on contractor services.

This, allied with the scaling down of HCFC production from mid-2009, is likely to create a bottleneck for businesses with serious financial implications for companies that delay their response.

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