28 July 2009

Re-issued as received

UNIDO, French Global Environment Facility to help African countries replace chillers in support of Montreal and Kyoto protocols

VIENNA, 28 July (UN Information Service) - Replacing chillers in Cameroon, Egypt, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal and Sudan to eliminate the use of ozone depleting substances and reduce the consumption of fossil fuels through improved energy efficiency is the aim of a project launched by UNIDO. Chillers are refrigeration systems that produce chilled water for cooling air in commercial, residential and industrial processes.

An agreement stipulating the role of the French Global Environment Facility (FFEM) as a co-financer of the African Chiller Replacement Project was signed today by UNIDO Director-General, Kandeh K. Yumkella, and FFEM Secretary-General, Marc-Antoine Martin.

UNIDO is the main implementing agency of the project worth EUR 5,3 million.

"The agreement between UNIDO and the FFEM will help implement an innovative and commercially viable strategy for replacing CFC-based chillers in six African countries," said Kandeh K. Yumkella. "This will help remove relevant barriers and includes the transfer of green technology, the creation of a working fund mechanism, the management of CFC stockpiles, and the dissemination of awareness to chiller operators and end-users, as well as to the Governments of the countries involved."

Surveys conducted in Cameroon, Egypt, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal and Sudan identified a total of 340 chillers that use chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) as refrigerants. Over 85 per cent of these chillers are located in Egypt and Nigeria.

CFCs are ozone depleting substances with high global warming potential. CFC-chillers have high leakage rates and a negative impact on global warming due to their high energy consumption. Replacing them with new chillers that are 40 per cent more energy efficient will lead to an indirect reduction of some 462,400 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year and a direct phase-out of around 80 tonnes of CFCs required for servicing the chillers annually.

Marc-Antoine Martin said: "This project is a good example of partnerships and cooperation between a multilateral donor through UNIDO, bilateral donors - France, Germany and Japan, - and commercial banks. To that respect, one could underline the specificity of its financial mechanism which will give the private sector the opportunity to take over public financing."

The Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations in Vienna, Ambassador Florence Mangin, added: "This project illustrates our commitment to an effective participation of developing countries in environmental protection by modernizing their equipment. It also brings out the necessity of a synergy between the implementation of the Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer and of the Kyoto Protocol, in particular, with regards to energy efficiency."

UNIDO is an implementing agency of the Multilateral Fund for Implementation of the Montreal Protocol.

* *** *

For further information, please contact:

George Assaf
Spokesperson, UNIDO
Telephone: (+43-1) 26026-3849
Email: g.assaf@unido.org
Website: www.unido.org