The ODS alternatives survey was conducted in response to decision XXXVI/9 which provided for Article 5 countries to receive financial support from the MLF to carry out the survey. The objectives of the survey was to assist Article 5 countries to better understand their consumption trends for non-ODS alternatives, and their distribution by sector and sub-sector; To establish a bank of inventories on ODS alternatives which will provide the country with an overview of its national market where ODS alternatives have been and will be phased in, while taking into consideration existing technologies; and To estimate the amounts of each ODS alternative currently used in the country, identify alternatives that could be potentially used in the future to replace HCFCs and HFCs; and forecast the amounts of each ODS alternative currently used and potentially to be used in the country for the period 2015-2030.
Liberia became a signatory Party to the Vienna convention and the Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer on January 1, 1996. Liberia has ratified all of the amendments of the Convention as follow: the London and Copenhagen Amendments, 1st January 1996, the Beijing and Montreal Amendments; 30th August 2004.
The National Ozone Unit (NOU), created in 2004, is located within the Environmental Protection Agency and is responsible for the coordination, implementation and enforcement of laws and policies related to the protection of the ozone layer in Liberia. The National Ozone Unit receives financial support from the Multilateral Fund through UNEP and GIZ for the implementation of all ozone related activities.
The Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) Regulations was promulgated in 2004 to control the imports of ODS and ODS-related equipment. In 2010, the Regulations was revised, banning the import and use of CFCs and other potent ozone depleting substances and to consider the control of HCFCs and related equipment.
The Ozone Unit implements an Import Quota System and maintains records of the imports of ODS and ODS-related equipment. It also captures import data on chemicals of interest from ASYCUDA maintained at Customs entry points. To enhance their capacity, customs officers at various border crossing points have been trained by the Ozone Unit for the control and monitoring of trade in ODS.
Beside the physical training, the NOU has distributed eleven identifiers to the various entry points through the Bureau of Customs and Excise. The training of customs officers and provision of ODS-detecting equipment have led to seizure of illegal imports and contaminated refrigerants.
During the ODS alternatives survey, the following were determined as key outcomes:
1. HFCs, HFC blends, and Hydrocarbons are the major ODS alternatives in use in the
2. refrigeration and air-conditioning sector.
3. For HFCs and HFC blends, R-134a, R-404a, R-407c, R-410a are ODS alternatives that have penetrated the Liberian Market.
4. Though to a lesser extent, the HC refrigerants: R-600a, and R-290 have appeared on the market and is steadily increasing, especially in domestic and commercial refrigeration. This means that the market penetration is expected to grow. Safety concern on the part of stakeholders continues to be paramount which is slowing down the uptake of the technology.
5. HFC blends such as R-407c, R-404a, and R-410a are widely used in commercial refrigeration and air-conditioning appliances.
6. R-134a and R-404a are most used in commercial refrigeration.
7. R-22 is being replaced by R-407c and R-410a in air-conditioning appliances. However, R-22 continues to hold the largest market share especially in older air-conditioning systems and most technicians prefer working with it.
8. Water and carbon dioxide are the predominant fire suppressants, replacing halon 1301.
9. R-134a is the widely used refrigerant in the MAC sector. Its use will continue to increase until a Suitable alternative can be adopted.
10. There are many challenges and barriers to the introduction and use of ODS alternatives. Among them are: safety concerns related to the application of HC refrigerants; high cost of obtaining ODS alternatives; non-availability on the market, lack of training on new technology, lack of proper tools and equipment, reluctance by owner to adopt to new technology.
11. Training and certification schemes, stricter control measures for the use of R-22 and new regulations controlling ODS and GHG-based appliances are required.