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Paje outlines benefits from new energy-efficient chillers



Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje is calling on industries to shift to new energy-efficient chillers to save on energy bills and avail of incentives provided under the Philippine Chillers Energy Efficiency Project (PCEEP).


“Given today’s technologies which are not only energy efficient but are also using non-CFC alternatives refrigerants, we can assure the private sector that replacing their old chillers with new ones make good business sense,” Paje said.


According to Paje, the PCEEP is a grant project of the World Bank and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) amounting US$47.9 million.  It will run for 10 years, starting this year up to 2020, and seeks to replace some 375 inefficient, CFC (chlorofluorocarbon)-based chillers with non-CFC based models.


A chiller is defined as an industrial- and commercial-grade refrigerating system used in cooling applications for buildings, raw materials, chemicals, medical equipment and industrial equipment. The (chiller) system includes a compressor, evaporator, condenser, reservoir, thermal expansion valve and stabilization assembly. During the chilling process, heat from a liquid is removed via a vapor-compression or absorption-refrigeration cycle.


To accelerate the conversion to new technologies, Paje said that chiller owners are given two options to enable them to obtain financial incentives under the project. Option I is to avail of the up-front subsidy equivalent to 15% of the normal cost of new non-CFC-based energy efficient chillers on condition that the chiller owner must agree to relinquish future carbon finance revenues under the program.


The second option is not to avail of the up-front subsidy but the chiller owner must surrender 20-25% of the clean development mechanism (CDM) revenues that will be obtained from selling carbon emission reductions (CERs) under the project. The amount will be used to cover the cost for administration, financial management, reporting, marketing and other CDM related costs.


According to Paje, the project is also consistent with international and national policy phasing out the use of CFCs and other ozone-depleting substances.


“Over the last 10 years, or starting in 1999, the Philippines has made great progress in phasing out the use of CFCs as refrigerants in the household and mobile air conditioning systems.  Then in 2010, we have totally banned the entry of CFCs, commonly known as Freon, into the country, in accordance with our commitment to the Montreal Protocol,” Paje explained.


The DENR chief said, however, that the chiller subsector continues to rely heavily on CFCs, besides requiring more energy to run them, thereby putting unnecessary burden on the country’s energy supply. 

A briefer on the project indicates that there are already in the market new models of centrifugal chillers that are not only non-CFC based but also consume less energy by as much as 40%.


Among the refrigerants used in new chillers with low or non-ozone depleting potential include hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFC 123), hydrofluorocarbons (HFC-134a) and natural refrigerants like natural hydrocarbons (propane and isobutene) and ammonia, water and air.


            Paje expressed hope that with the project, the carbon dioxide or greenhouse gases that will emitted in the atmosphere will be reduced by as much as 560,000 tons in the next 10 years. -30- PAO, DENR


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