According to the China Household Electrical Appliances Association (CHEAA), eight major Chinese RAC manufacturers have recently committed to selling no less than 220,000 split-type propane (R290) RAC units in the domestic Chinese market by the end of the 2019 “cooling year” (which lasts until 31 July 2019).
The eight manufacturers are Gree, Midea, Haier, Hisense, Changhong, TCL, Aux and Yair.
Mobilised by CHEAA, the eight companies made the pledge as part of a larger commitment to fulfill the Montreal Protocol within the Chinese RAC industry – promising to increase the promotion and sales of R290 split-type RAC systems in the domestic Chinese market.
The pledge was made during the ‘International Workshop on Alternative Technologies to HCFC-22 in Room Air-conditioner Sector and Air-conditioner Technology Session’ held on 31 October.
The event was jointly held by China’s Foreign Economic Cooperation Office of the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP/FECO), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and the China Household Electrical Appliances Association (CHEAA) in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province in China.
Production lines already converted to R290
With the support of international organizations such as UNIDO and with funding provided by the Multilateral Fund, China has already converted 18 RAC production lines to R290 with a production capacity of 4,500,000 units per year.
In addition, three RAC compressor production lines have been converted to R290 with a production capacity of 5,400,000 units per year.
These conversions were completed during the first stage (2013 to 2015) of China’s HCFC Phase-out Management Plan (HPMP).
Currently, China is in the process of converting another 20 RAC production lines and another four RAC compressor production lines to R290 as a part of the second stage of China’s HPMP (2015 to 2020).
Growing momentum for R290 RAC in Asia
The announcement in China follows significant progress also being made by India-based RAC manufacturer Godrej, which announced that it had sold 600,000 R290 split-type RAC systems to date.
Most of the sales are in India, though the units are beginning to be sold in Southeast Asia.
“Our manufacturing capacity for [R290 split-type RAC units] is 180,000 units per annum and today we have around 600,000 units in the field without any accidents that can be attributed to hydrocarbons,” said Abhijit Acharekar, general manager for R&D at Godrej during Atmosphere Asia 2018, held on 4 September in Singapore.― HYDROCARBONS21