The Cabinet has ordered the closure of Hindustan Fluorocarbons, a maker of the ozone-depleting gas called hydro chlorofluorocarbon (HCFC-22) that is used as a refrigerant. Under the Montreal Protocol’s provisions, Hindustan Fluorocarbons is allowed to produce only 282 tons of the gas per year from April, not enough to keep the company sustainable.
Its plant is located near Hyderabad.
India has consciously chosen a path for environment friendly and energy efficient technologies while phasing out Ozone Depleting Substances (ODSs). Importantly, India is one among the few countries globally and a pioneer in some cases in the use of technologies, which are non-Ozone Depleting and have a low Global Warming Potential (GWP).
India had proactively and successfully taken the challenge of complete phase out of Hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC)-141 b, which is a chemical used by foam manufacturing enterprises by 1.1.2020. On 31 December, 2019, as part of the Government’s commitment for moving towards environment friendly technologies, in a significant first, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) brought out a notification in the Gazette of India through which the issuance of import license for HCFC-141b is prohibited from 1st January, 2020 under Ozone Depleting Substances (Regulation and Control) Amendment Rules, 2019 issued under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.
HCFC-141b is not produced in the country and all the domestic requirements are met through imports. With this notification, prohibiting the import of HCFC-141 b, the country has completely phased out the important ozone depleting chemical. Simultaneously, the use of HCFC-141 b by foam manufacturing industry has also been closed as on 1st January, 2020 under the Ozone Depleting Substances (Regulation and Control) Amendment Rules, 2014.