On January 1 2020, legal restrictions on HFCs and HCFCs in Australia were tighteded.
As of January 1, Australia’s bulk HFC import limit for 2020-2021 was set at 7.25 million metric tons of CO2e — almost 10% less than 2018-2019 when it was 8 million metric tons of CO2e. This schedule is more aggressive than that set by the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, which Australia has ratified.
In addition, the import and manufacturing of all types of HCFC equipment is now banned. “From 1 January 2020, importing or manufacturing all types of HCFC equipment (including, for example, HCFC aerosols and HCFC fire protection equipment) is banned, except in certain circumstances,” said the Australian Government Department of Environment and Energy website.
Stationary AC has most HCFCs, HFCs
According to a presentation from Australian climate research firm Expert Group at last year’s ATMOsphere Australia 2019 conference in Melbourne, stationary air conditioning equipment represents the largest portion of Australia’s current bank of HCFCs and HFCs at 61% (as of 2016). This is followed by mobile air conditioning at 21% and refrigerated cold food chain at 14%.
The most common HFCs and HCFCs used in each application are as follows, the presentation said:
- Stationary AC: mostly HFC-410 and HCFC-22
- Mobile AC: mostly HFC-134a
- Refrigerated cold food chain: mostly HFC-404A/134a and HCFC-22
- Domestic refrigeration: mostly HFC-134a
The next HFC phase down step will take place in 2022 when the import quota will drop from 7.25 to 6.25 million metric tons of CO2e.