In 2017, South African Minister Molewa of Water and Environmental Affairs signed the Paris agreement on climate change. By signing this agreement, South Africa is legally bound to adopt and integrate the components of the agreement into its legal system. This was however not the first step that the country had taken in combating global warming. South Africa has ratified the Montreal Protocol and all its amendments since it was introduced in 1987, and the Kyoto Protocol introduced in 2002. As a developing country, unfortunately, implementation of new regulations moved slowly.
Between 2007 and 2014, imports and the use of HFCs and HFC blends reached new heights. In 2015, Minister Molewa drafted a set of regulations for the reporting of greenhouse gas emissions with the intention of establishing a single, standard system for monitoring greenhouse gas emissions.
Her Regulations Regarding The Phasing-Out And Management of OZONE-Depleting Substances contains the following:
- A person is prohibited from producing, importing, exporting, using or placing on the market any of the following ozone-depleting substances including equipment or products containing such substances, unless it is for critical use- (a) Chlorofluorocarbons; (b) bromochlorofluorocarbons; (c) halons; (d) carbon tetrachloride; (e) 1,1,1 trichloroethane; (f) hydrobromofluorocarbons; and (g) bromochloromethane.
- The stockpiling of the ozone-depleting substances is prohibited.
- Hydrochloroflourocarbons (HCFCs) which an importer place on the market or use per annum, in the period from 01 January 2014 to 31 December 2015, must not exceed 90% of the baseline consumption of HCFCs
- 01 January 2016 to 31 December 2020, must not exceed 65% of the baseline consumption of HCFCs
- 01 January 2021 to 31 December 2025, must not exceed 32.5% of the baseline consumption of HCFCs
- 01 January 2026 to 31 December 2030, must not exceed 2.5% of the baseline consumption of HCFCs
- 01 January 2031 until 31 December 2040, 2.5% of the baseline consumption must only be used for servicing activities
- 01 January 2040 no person is allowed to import, place on the market, or use HCFCs.
In 2015, South Africa met its target of reducing HCFC consumption by 10%. Although this was a great feat, the challenges that face the country are finding HFC alternatives and their costs. This is a time sensitive issue because of the growing demand of HVAC&R products, especially in Africa where there is tremendous demand in the cold chain industry. Other reasons for the demand increase are growing populations and the increase in temperature.
BITZER continues to be ahead of South African regulations concerning HFO, HFO/HFC blends and natural refrigerants by continuously introducing more environmentally friendly compressors. In 2015, our CSH and CSW screw compressors became HFO friendly. Beyond that, BITZER has been developing CO2 compressors for the last 15 years and BITZER has always had ammonia using open screw and reciprocating compressors – CO2 and ammonia are natural refrigerants which have extremely low global warming potential.