Difficult finding of refrigerant gases

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Ceced Italia highlights that today the sectors of the professional refrigeration, boilers and domestic heat pump dryers are facing a critical situation due to the complex finding of refrigerant gases. With the EU Regulation 517/2014, the European Commission imposes the progressive elimination of fluorinated gases, setting a timing for the phase-down of certain substances. In particular, the main refrigerant gases used in the above mentioned sectors, such as HFCs R404a and R134a, can no longer be adopted in some applications from 1st January 2020 or 1st January 2022. However, there is currently a disproportionate and unjustified increase in prices of hydrofluorocarbons, accompanied by a low availability of such substances from those who produce them and by a lack of authorizations for the use of the quotas. This implicates, in particular for the importers of pre-loaded appliances, a double increase in costs: in the gas price and in the use authorizations. The companies of the sector have been already committed to replace the HFCs with alternative gases, but currently on the market there aren’t refrigerants comparable (in terms of performances and safety) to those that will be replaced. For some appliances (eg ice-makers, blast chillers, boilers and heat pump dryers), it is therefore impossible to replace the existing gases and at the same time comply with the national, European and international standards on safety, energy efficiency and toxicity, also because of the lack of technologically suitable components. Ceced Italia wants to sensitize the institutions in order to manage this critical situation that is jeopardizing an important sector of the Italian industry, with particular difficulties for the small and medium enterprises.

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