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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs                   17  September 2011

Phase-out of gases in Vietnam

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Vietnam may complete the phase-out of hydro chlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) - ozone-depleting substances and powerful greenhouse gases - by 2025, five years earlier than the deadline, if it receives sufficient financial and technological support from international partners.

The statement was made by Deputy Director of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment's Department of Hydro-Meteorological and Climate Change, Nguyen Khac Hieu at a ceremony to celebrate the International Ozone Day yesterday.

The Montreal Protocol on the preservation of the ozone layer, of which Viet Nam has been a party since 1994, requires every country to meet the HCFC phase-out obligations by 2030.

The implementation of the Montreal Protocol over the last 24 years has brought the complete phase-out of global manufacturing and use of a set of substances recognised as the most pernicious for ozone layer, including halons, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), carbon tetrachloride (CTCs) and now HCFCs are next to go on the list of some 100 ozone-depleting substances.

In Viet Nam, HCFCs are widely used in air conditioning, insulating foams and industrial refrigeration plant applications. Last year, Viet Nam used up about 3,700 tonnes of HCFCs, which is equivalent to 235 tonnes of the compound that has the maximum potential degradation to the ozone layer.

Hieu announced that the proposal of "National HCFC Phase-Out Management Plan" for Viet Nam has been approved by the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol for the period 2012-16. During this time phase, Viet Nam would receive a financial aid of US$10 million.

The main component of the project in the first phase would be to eradicate 500 tonnes of HCFC-141b and nearly 2,000 tonnes of polyol containing HCFC-141b in 12 enterprises that produce insulating foams. The use of HCFC-141b in the production line would be supplanted with cyclopentane, a compound which is neither a threat to the ozone layer nor a global warming gas.

"The financial aid will cover 80 percent of the expenditures, the enterprises have to contribute the remaining," Hieu said.
Another component would be to reduce the consumption of HCFC-22, a refrigerant widely used in the seafood processing industry as well as the new installment of HCFC-22-based refrigerators.

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AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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