13 production lines converted to R290 in China, conversion applications open for another 5

By Huiting Jia, Nov 07, 2013, 16:00 2 minute reading

At the International Workshop on Alternative Technologies to HCFC-22 in the Room Air Conditioner Sector, held on 30 October in Jiangsu, China, the Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection introduced the latest projects to convert air conditioner production lines to R290 in China. Thirteen R290 production lines have been launched and the ministry welcomes applications from domestic AC manufacturers to convert another five.

On 30 October government representatives, foreign and domestic industrial experts, and delegates of Chinese AC manufacturers discussed how to accelerate the phase out of HCFC-22 and adoption of alternative refrigerants in China’s room air conditioner sector. Hydrocarbons are highly recommended as alternatives by both the government and industrial associations. 
The workshop was organised by the Foreign Economic Cooperation Office (FECO) of the Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection together with The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and The China Household Electrical Appliances Association (CHEAA) in in Jiangsu, China. 
R290 is the new hope for China’s room air conditioner sector
The use of HCFC-22 in air-conditioning units is a major contributory factor to greenhouse gas emissions. In China, some 260 million tonnes CO2 equivalent are used each year to fill air conditioning units. Therefore China aims to reduce the consumption of HCFC-22 by 10% by 2015, compared with the average amount used in 2009 and 2010. In order to accelerate the elimination of HCFC-22 in air conditioning sector, hydrocarbon technologies are encouraged by the Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection and industrial associations in the workshop. 
In terms of environmental protection, R290 refrigerant is a near-perfect alternative to HCFC-22. R290 is the new hope for our room air conditioner sector. The use of R290 refrigerant will provide the sector with an opportunity to realise industrial transformation and upgrading,” said Ms Jiang Feng, the Commissioner of CHEAA.
13 out of 18 AC production lines already converted to R290
As part of the country’s HCFC Phase-out Management Plan, China aims to convert 18 of its R22 air conditioner production lines into R290 by the end of 2015. According to Mr Zhong Zhifeng from FECO, until now the Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection has signed contracts with several Chinese air conditioner manufacturers including Gree, Midea, Haier and Chunlan to convert 13 R22 air conditioner production lines to R290. All these manufacturers have an established conversion and purchase plan.
By October 2013, Chunlan and Haier had completed the necessary equipment purchases. What is more, Chunlan has already set up an R290 air conditioner production line with annual production volume nearing 1 million units.
5 R290 production lines seek the participation of air conditioner manufacturers
According to Mr Zhong Zhifeng, the Ministry of Environmental Protection is currently welcoming applications from domestic AC manufacturers for the remaining five R290 conversion projects. In 2014, the Ministry of Environmental Protection set the marketing and promotion of R290 air conditioners as its priority. The ministry will continuously promote the R&D of R290 AC technology and develop the necessary standards for R290 refrigerant use. 


By Huiting Jia

Nov 07, 2013, 16:00

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