Tuesday 27th Sep 2016 - Logistics Manager

FSDF hits out at F-gas plan

The Food Storage and Distribution Federation has criticised EU proposals to minimise emissions of Fluorinated gases which are used in commercial refrigeration systems.

Late last year the European Commission announced its review of the F-Gas Regulation, with financially onerous implications for businesses using HFC and HCFC based refrigerants. The review has now been extended to mobile refrigeration on distribution vehicles and trailers.

FSDF chief Chris Sturman said: “The FSDF Transfrigoroute Committee is working closely with a range of supplier and operator companies from within the business sector impacted by the legislation, and the contractors that will be required to undertake additional training and registration to comply, many of which have conscientiously committed time and resources during a period of deep recession to support the aims of the Regulations.

“The EC argues that the EU’s low Carbon Road Map exceeds current ambitions, calling for a reduction in emissions of 80 to 95 per cent by 2050. Unfortunately for the EC, the debate has moved on from carbon reduction to energy savings, as some carbon measures bring with them energy penalties. This is certainly true in the refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump sector where alternatives to non- flammable, non-toxic HFC refrigerants can induce higher indirect emissions due to their lower efficiencies (along with safety issues over toxicity, flammability or high working pressures).

“We know that there is no perfect refrigerant. A range of refrigerants has been developed to provide alternatives to match specific applications. This review ignores that reality, and seeks to impose restrictions on refrigerant availability in an arbitrary manner, being prescriptive in areas where legislators have no professional competence, or any understanding of the detailed consequences.”

Sturman called for a revision predicated on a realistic and measured phase-down that would overcome these criticisms and receive the support of a responsible industry.