Vietnam targets phasing out 100 per cent of hydro-chlorofluorocarbons (HCFC) substances by 2040 through a national programme launched on June 14 in HCM City.

Speaking at the launching at the 2011 Meeting of SEAP Network of Ozone Officers, Nguyen Khac Hieu of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment said Vietnam completed the phase-out of CFC in early 2010 and is starting its HCFC phase-out.

Hieu, deputy director of the ministry's Department of Meteorology, Hydrology and Climate Change, said the Montreal Protocol's multilateral fund has agreed to fund 10 million USD for the first stage of the programme.

The programme will follow a roadmap to reduce 10 percent of HCFC use in 2013 and 32 percent in 2015. The country had 3,700 tonnes of HCFC substances by 2010.

Luong Duc Khoa of the department said the phase-out is expected to complete in 2040.

"But if we can mobilise a fund of around 200 million USD, we can complete the phase-out by 2025," he said.

Khoa, also the coordinator of the global Ozone Protection Programme in Vietnam , said the country was the first in Southeast Asia to launch the phase-out for HCFC substances.

He called for companies using HCFC substances to take these chances to use new technology for the use of non-HCFC substances.

Three HCFC substances, including HCFC22, HCFC23 and HCFC141B, are used in air conditioning systems, sponge production and cold warehouses in Vietnam .

With the programme, 12 companies in the field will receive funding and consultation to eliminate the use of HCFC. By 2015, no HCFC141B will be used in the country, according to Khoa.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment will use a quota for import of HCFC141B this year and ban the import by 2013./.