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  Enviroment Research & Protection

Viet Nam strives to prevent use of ozone-depleting substances

Viet Nam is striving to eradicate the use of ozone-depleting substances (ODS) by 2010, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment told a press briefing held in Ha Noi on Wednesday in anticipation of the International Day for the Conservation of the Environment (Sept. 16).

“To achieve this target, the country will ask for assistance from the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer,” the ministry said. It added that this proposal is part of a national plan, which is aimed at eradicating the consumption of some ODS, including chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and Halons. The plan has recently been submitted to the Government for approval.

Under the plan, scheduled to be implemented next year, the ministry will provide sets of tools free of charge which can be used by businesses to repair refrigerating appliances as part of their after-sale service on condition that these businesses commit themselves to not using ODS and send their workers on training courses, held by the ministry, to learn new techniques for repairing refrigerating appliances.

Currently, around 1,000 workers are attending such training courses. In one or two years, with the Multilateral Fund’s help, the ministry will provide free-of-charge training on the new techniques for workers in the field, the ministry said.

In addition, the ministry will warn consumers not to buy refrigerators and air-conditioners which use substances which damage the ozone layer because between now and 2010, CFCs will stop being produced.

At present, Viet Nam consumes around 200 tonnes of CFCs, Halons and methyl bronmide annually for refrigerating appliance repairs, cosmetics production and healthcare services.

Daewoo is the only electric appliance manufacturer in Viet Nam still using CFCs in refrigerators and air-conditioners for the Vietnamese market. However, many containing-CFCs refrigerators and air-conditioners are still imported into the country from China and India. The ministry is proposing that the Government ban or restrict the import of commodities using ODS in the future.

According to the ministry, Viet Nam had previously consumed on average 500 tonnes of CFCs and four tonnes of Halons annually. After its official participation in the Vienna Agreement on the Preservation of the Ozone Layer and the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (Jan. 1994), the country has implemented 28 projects, which have received nearly 4 million USD in non-refundable aid from the Multilateral Fund.

Of the projects, 13 involved transferring technologies to replace existing ODS-using ones at chemical and cosmetic production enterprises, and textile and refrigerating factories. These projects have helped reduce the annual use of CFCs from 500 tonnes to 230 tonnes. In addition, since late 1995, Viet Nam has not used Halons in fire prevention.

VNA - (16/09/2004)

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