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Many questions about the phasing out of refrigerants

20 July 2018

Many people are aware by now that some of the well-known refrigerants formerly in use are to be phased out. Our storage advisors have noticed, however, that there are still many questions being asked in the field. As we have indicated before on our website, a number of frequently used refrigerants will either disappear or be subject to quotas because of new EU legislation. Refrigerants with a high global warming potential (GWP) will be phased out, and only the use of refrigerants with a GWP value below 2,500 will be permitted from 2020. This standard will be valid for a decade, i.e. until 2030, when the tolerated value will be reduced again. The further-reduced value as of 2030 is not yet known. This means that R407F/R407C/R134A refrigerants will still be accepted until 2030.

Make inquiries in time

Refrigerants don’t have to be replaced on a preventive basis; however, in the event of leakage after 2020 the replacement of refrigerants with a GWP value in excess of 2,500 will no longer be permitted. In such a case, the installation will have to be adapted to use an acceptable refrigerant. This adaptation will differ per installation. If you are curious about the situation as regards your installation, please contact one of our storage advisors who will be happy to look into this for you.

Is trading in refrigerants permitted?

We have had many questions, especially about the trade in refrigerants. The question was raised of whether the mutual trade in refrigerants between owners of cooling installations is permitted. Unfortunately, such trade among users is prohibited; as soon as a refrigerant is removed from the premises of a business it is classed as chemical waste. In addition, only quota holders are allowed to import refrigerants from outside the EU; only they will be provided with the documentation necessary for the import of refrigerants.

Are prices higher in the Netherlands?

Many customers are under the impression that the Netherlands is a forerunner in terms of refrigerants and that prices in this country seem to be much higher than those in other EU countries. This is not, however, the case and in fact prices are virtually the same throughout the EU. Then again, we are often asked how it is possible that prices have risen so dramatically in such a short time. This is to do with the quotas that have been imposed on the businesses trading in refrigerants. It means that they are restricted in their trading volumes, so that a scarcity of refrigerants has occurred on the market resulting in an increase in price.

Developments at Tolsma-Grisnich

Tolsma-Grisnich’s cooling specialists are currently working on the development of a drop-in agent as a replacement for existing refrigerants. Several examinations are underway to ascertain what adjustments will need to be carried out to the installations. Other than that, we are consulting with a number of suppliers about the consequences for the compressors.

Future perspectives

All cooling installations will eventually have to be operated on CO₂, propane or ammonia. If you would like to receive more information about refrigerants or have any questions about making your cooling installation future-proof, please contact a Tolsma-Grisnich storage advisor for advice without obligation.

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