By Joseph Erunke & Alice Ekpang, Abuja

The federal government, Tuesday, inaugurated the Project Steering Committee for Stage II of the Hydrochlorofluorocarbon Phase-Out Management Plan, HPMP.
Minister of Environment, Dr. Muhammad Abubakar, who inaugurated the committee, in Abuja, explained that it will among other things, be responsible for advising on actions needed to ensure that the project achieves the desired results.
He further explained that the stage II HPMP which was a project under the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, “is a follow up to stage I, which the Ministry successfully implemented from 2010- 2018, in the Foam, Refrigeration & Air conditioning sectors.”
“The specific responsibilities of the Project Steering Committee include: Address project issues as raised by the National Ozone Office of the Ministry Provide guidance on new project risks, and agree on possible mitigation and management actions to address specific risks; ensure coordination with various government agencies and their participation in project activities, among others,” he explained.

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According to him, “HPMP is a project under the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, designed to phase out the use of HCFCs in all the relevant industrial sectors, in order to continue to prevent the depletion of the Ozone Layer and save mankind from the deleterious effects of this global issue.”
He recalled that the implementation of the HPMP Stage 1 project, successfully upgraded a System House at vitapur Nig. Ltd, for the formulation of Methyl formate-based pre-blended polyols as an alternative to Ozone Depleting Hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC)-I41b in the manufacture of rigid polyurethane foam.
He added that during stage 1, a Pilot Hydrocarbon Plant, for the production of high-grade Hydrocarbon Refrigerants was established to be used as alternative non Ozone Depleting refrigerants in the refrigeration and air conditioning servicing sector.
Hear him: “The project was commissioned by my humble self in September 2020. The System House which is one or two Such in Africa, the other being in South Africa will provide availability of Ozone-friendly and Low Global warming Potential blowing agents in the production of rigid foam, generate foreign exchange for the country from the export of Methyl formate and foreign exchange savings from local production.
“The plant will also assist to building local capacity in the formulation of Methyl formate-based systems and consequently generate employment and wealth. Also, the Methyl formate systems Will serve as a source of raw material to the 70 ice-making machine manufacturers, which my Ministry in collaboration with UNIDO Supported with Low-Pressure Foaming Machines for the production of thermal insulation in the manufacture of ice-making machines.”
Abubakar noted that the completion of stage 1, achieved the target of a 10 percent reduction in the use of HCFCs, in line with the phase-out schedule for developing countries, as set by the Montreal Protocol.

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“We are working out ways to upscale the plant to produce in commercial quantity and serve as a hub for the production and supply of high-grade Hydrocarbon Refrigerants in Nigeria and also for the West African Region.
He said: “The project will complement the HPMP Stage I project taking account of difficulties encountered, experience gained, and lessons learned in the implementation of stage 1.”
“The strategy for implementing the second stage was determined taking into account the following factors: The levels of reductions in Ozone Depleting refrigerants imported into the country,” he explained.
The committee, according to the Minister, has the Director, Pollution Control and Environmental Health in the Federal Ministry of Environment, as chairman, representatives from UNDP, UNIDO, Nigerian Customs Service, Federal Ministry of Education, Small & Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Representative from HPMP 2, Nigerian Association of Refrigerators and Air-conditioning Practitioners (NARAP) and Refrigeration Training Centers as its members.
Vanguard News Nigeria

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