Vietnam will completely abolish the use of more than 500 tonnes of HCFC-141b, a chemical that damages the ozone layer, in the production of thermal insulation foam by the end of 2014, an official has said.

The move is part of the country’s efforts to reduce the use of HCFC substances by 10 percent from January 1, 2015 onwards, Nguyen Van Tue, Director of the Department of Meteorology, Hydrology and Climate Change under the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment, said.

The declaration was made at a workshop in Hanoi on October 21 to launch a project on the reduction of greenhouse gas and ozone-depleting substances (ODS) emissions through technology transfer in industrial refrigeration.

Between now and 2019, Vietnam plans to cut the use of HCFC substances, mainly HCFC-22, by 900 tonnes from 3,600 tonnes at present. The chemical is mainly used in refrigeration facilities, he added, noting that the country had already successfully eliminated the import and use of CFCs, halons and CTCs, which are also ozone-depleting substances, between 1995 and 2010.

As part of the project, Vietnam will choose alternative technologies and substances that are considered safe for the ozone layer and the climate system, as set out by the Montreal Protocol on ODS.

To assist the country’s efforts, the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) worked with the department to design the project.

As a party to the Montreal Protocol since January 1994, Vietnam is obliged to eradicate the use of the ODS and is entitled to financial and technological assistance.

UNIDO Representative in Vietnam Patrick Gilabert said that as part of the project UNIDO and equipment suppliers will deliver hydrocarbon technology to businesses that use refrigeration facilities.

The success of the project will act a basis for further actions in the future, he added.-VNA