The United Fresh Technical Advisory Group has been working since 2018 with The Climate Controls Companies Association of New Zealand(CCCANZ), the industry body representing Heating, Ventilation, A/C and Refrigeration (HVAC&R) companies within New Zealand, to ensure members are kept informed of upcoming legislation changes that may affect their business.
The New Zealand Government has committed to the phase down of Hydrofluorocarbon (HFCs) synthetic refrigerants within New Zealand to meet global environmental treaty requirements. HFCs currently dominate refrigeration systems within New Zealand, and this brings a shift for industries as the government changes the landscape for HVAC&R with the sinking cap on HFC refrigerants, which began in 2020.
Industries currently using HFC refrigerants, including the fresh produce industry, are now required to phase out their use of these HFC gases, and replace them with less environmentally damaging gases, such as ammonia.
It is already known that some of these replacement gases have health and safety implications in their use, storage and site disaster management recovery strategies. These refrigerants will become increasingly prevalent in New Zealand in the coming years and the fresh produce industry needs to increase and update its knowledge about these refrigerants and their handling processes frequently.
Our work in this area is ongoing, and we continue to maintain a watching brief on all matters that may affect the industry. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The latest CCCANZ information factsheets on flammable refrigerants can be found at www.cccanz.org.nz/resources/Flammable-Refrigerants-Fact-Sheets/.