Nigeria has re-affirmed its commitment to the Montreal Protocol and its Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) phase-out programme.
Minister of Environment, Mohammed Abdullahi, who made the submission in Lagos on Thursday, May 4, 2023, at the Stakeholder’s Inception Workshop for the Stage III of the Hydrochlorofluorocarbons Phaseout Management Plan (HPMP) project, commended the efforts of the project implementing agencies, especially the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), and the effective collaboration Nigeria enjoyed in the implementation of the HPMP, mainly in the manufacturing sector of the project.
The event also featured the official launch of Charity Kbapek Scholarship Programme for Female Manufacturing Engineers and Technicians.
Abdullahi, represented by Zonal Director, Lagos and Southwest, Mrs. Oluwatoyin Agbenla, disclosed that, as a Party to the Montreal Protocol, Nigeria has been part of global efforts towards the phase out of ODS in all sectors of her economy and has demonstrated commitment to the provisions of the Protocol by phasing out the use of Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCS) and some other ODS in 2010.
Tracing the genesis of the project, he disclosed that the Ministry commenced the implementation of the HPMP project in 2011, with the objective to completely phase out 344.9 Ozone Depletion Potential tonnes of HCFCs by January 1, 2040.
“UNDP being the Lead Implementing Agency for the project, is responsible for the phase out of HCFCs in the Foam & Refrigeration & Air conditioning Servicing sector, while UNIDO, the complementing agency, is responsible for the phase out in the Manufacturing sector,” the minister disclosed.
He added: “The project is being implemented in stages. Under the UNIDO component of stage 1, 75 Low Pressure Foaming Machines, designed to use Ozone Friendly blowing agents were procured and distributed to Ice Block Making Machines Manufacturers, for the production of rigid Polyurethane foam for thermal insulation, among other activities carried out. These enabled us to achieve the phase-out of 118.6 MT of HCFC-141b in the manufacturing sector. The successful completion of these activities enabled us to meet our Montreal Protocol’s target of 10% HCFCs reduction from our baseline consumption in 2015.”
According to him, upon completion of the project’s stage 1 activities, the stage II was approved in 2018, with the overall objective to achieve 51.35% phase out of our HCFC consumption in 2023.
“To achieve the 51.35% reduction target, we commenced implementation of the HPMP stage II project in 2020 and have achieved the complete phase out of HCFC-141b from January 1, 2023. As an alternative to HCFC-141b, we are carrying out the conversion of a production line at Slavit Ltd, Lagos, from the use of HCFC-141b-based chemicals to Cyclopentane for Spray & Panel foam operations. The project, which is being implemented by UNDP, is at an advanced stage of completion and is expected to be commissioned before the end of this year.”
Abdullahi pointed out that, under the UNIDO component of the stage II, which commenced in 2019, four pressure foaming machines designed to use Ozone-friendly blowing agent were supplied and distributed to beneficiary companies producing cold rooms and other refrigeration equipment.
“The machines were commissioned in 2020, installed and training of the beneficiaries on their operation carried out. This will enable us to phase out of 30.5 metric tonnes of HCFC-141b consumption in the commercial refrigeration manufacturing sector,” he said, adding that, having completed the HPMP stage II Project, Nigeria got approval of financial and technical support from the Multilateral Fund of the Montreal Protocol to enable implementation of the stage III of the Project.
“The aim of the HPMP Stage III project is to phase-out the use of HCFC-22 in the Refrigeration & Air-conditioning Manufacturing Sector and facilitate our achievement of 67.5% HCFCs reduction target by 2025. The project’s sectoral activities will be implemented by UNIDO, as the cooperating agency, while UNDP will serve as the Lead Implementing Agency, ensuring that the project’s performance is in accordance with the Montreal Protocol’s ODS phase out schedule,” the minister stated, even as he listed the implementation of the HPMP Stage III project to include the following elements:
- Phase-out of HCFC-22 in the commercial refrigeration manufacturing sector
- Phase-out of HCFC-22 in the residential air-conditioning manufacturing sector
- Kpabeb schorlarship programme for female RAC engineers and technicians.
He went further: “Under the commercial refrigeration manufacturing component of the project, HCFC-22 is expected to be replaced with Hydrocarbons, due to their low Global Warming Potential. Based on the challenges associated with natural refrigerants such as Hydrocarbons, Ammonia and Carbon Dioxide, my Ministry will ensure that only trained and certified technicians are allowed to handle them.
“In the air-conditioning manufacturing component of the project, two companies will be supported to convert from HFCs to Hydrocarbons. For both companies, the main activities proposed include: provision of technical assistance and the conversion of their production lines to allow for operation with flammable refrigerants, including a safety control system.
“The scholarship programme component of the project is expected to encourage potential females to consider developing their careers in Refrigeration & Air Conditioning.”
In a goodwill message, Mr. Jean Bakole, UNIDO Regional Director and Representative, Regional Office Hub, Nigeria and ECOWAS, explained that Nigeria’s Stage III of the HPMP that focuses on the investment projects for the phase-out of HCFC-22 in the RAC manufacturing sector to achieve additional HCFC reductions does not overlap with the ongoing activities in Stage II, which entails phase-out activities in the PU foam manufacturing and RAC servicing sectors.
His words: “The implementation of Stage III of the HPMP will phase out 17.13 Ozone Depleting Potential (ODP) tonnes of HCFC-22 and assist Nigeria in meeting the target of 67.5 per cent reduction in HCFC baseline consumption by 2025. The first tranche of Stage III of the HPMP has been approved at the 91st EXCOM meeting.
“The starting point for aggregate reductions of HCFC consumption for Nigeria is 1,224.27mt (67.33 ODP tonnes) of HCFC-22 consumption in the manufacturing sector which has not been addressed yet; Stage III aims to phase out all this consumption. Based on the Country Programme report, the average consumption of HCFC-22 between 2019 and 2021 in the RAC manufacturing sector amounted to 568.23mt (31.25 ODP tonnes); of which 295.02mt (16.23 ODP tonnes) are eligible based on the survey conducted during the preparation of Stage III.
“Since Stage III was designed to phase out all HCFC-22 consumption in the RAC manufacturing sector, the total 1,224.27mt (67.33 ODP tonnes) of consumption will be deducted from the starting point after Stage III. The remaining eligible consumption to be addressed in future stages will be 1,797.34mt (98.85 ODP tonnes) of HCFC-22 in the servicing sector.”
According to him, Nigeria has been one of the most active developing countries in the negotiations of the Vienna Convention and its associated Montreal Protocol.
“Nigeria has served on many committees, and I am proud to say that UNIDO has jointly received international awards with the Nigerian government on the implementation of the Montreal Protocol,” Bakole added.
Speaking on the role of women in Ozone Layer protection, a representative of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) said that women should participate actively in technology design to achieve this.
“Educating the woman is a way to save the environment. To save the environment, we must involve women, bring them to the design table,” she said.
The daughter of the late Mrs. Charity Kbapek, who is an engineering student, emerged as the first beneficiary of the Charity Kbapek Scholarship Programme for Female Manufacturing Engineers and Technicians.