Engaging and inspiring seminars on Montreal Protocol and the challenges and opportunities surrounding with regard to the Cold Chain sector, marked the highly successful maiden edition of REFCOLD India 2018. The first International Exhibition and Conference on Cold chain, Industrial Refrigeration and Reefer Transportation held at Mahatma Mandir Convention cum Exhibition Centre, Gandhinagar in Gujarat, India.
Organized by The Indian Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ISHRAE) in association with NurenbergMesse India, REFCOLD India 2018 was a power-packed conference with technical workshops, panel discussions, and knowledge-enhancing theme-based seminars by renowned names from the industry from India and across the globe.
Ayman Eltalounty’s (Regional Coordinator, Montreal Protocol West Asia and International Partnership Coordinator for UN Environment- Ozone Action Programme) addressed a session on – ‘Montreal Protocol and Cold Chain; an Overview of Challenges and Opportunities in Article 5 Countries’. Didier Coulomb, Director General, International Institute of Refrigeration, France threw light on ‘Cold Chain Technology’ while helping the conglomerate understand the sector well. Pankaj Mehta (Global Food Cold Chain Council (GFCCC) spoke about GFCCC and building Cold Chain Database Model. Arvind Surange of ASHRAE highlighted the importance of Sustainable Refrigerating Facilities. He provided valuable guidelines for Sustainable Design and Operation. Challenges and considerations of the Marine and Off-shore Fisheries Sector in Article 5 Countries were discussed in a dedicated session by Alvin Jose, Montreal Protocol and Energy Efficiency Specialist, UN Environment.
“India is the 2nd largest consumer of HCFCs, first being China. However, India has also agreed to completely phasing out HCFCs by 2030 and also reduces the use of HFCs significantly in the coming years. The major challenges include commercially viable substitutes, copyright of alternatives, and formulating a comprehensive cooling strategy considering that there are 46 subsectors using refrigeration. For a country like India, it is essential to link the research and development sector with refrigeration sector to find best possible alternatives,” said Ayman Eltalounty, Regional Coordinator, Montreal Protocol West Asia and International Partnership Coordinator for UN Environment Ozone Action Programme while speaking on the side-lines of a seminar. Didier Coulomb, Director General, International Institute of Refrigeration, France added, “There cannot be a unique solution to the challenges in the refrigeration sector as far as reducing environmental impact is concerned. Ozone layer depletion, global warming as well as safety need to be considered while defining apt alternatives. The Indian government is quite active in this regard.”
Elaborating on the scenario in the country and how the Montreal Protocol is impacting India, Pankaj Dharkar, Chairman REFCOLD India, said, “Gases used for cooling, like CFCs in the refrigeration and air-conditioning industry are depleting the ozone layer. Their alternatives, HCFCs do not affect the ozone layer but contribute towards global warming. We have arranged special sessions by UNEP at REFCOLD India 2018 to discuss the feasible alternatives that are less harmful to the environment, are cost-effective and safe as well. There are quite a few options like FO7C, F14A, 123ZE, and R32 that are being researched upon to find the best way of using them instead of fluorocarbons. While the developing nations who have agreed to the Kigali Agreement will be eradicating the use of CFCs as well as HCFCs by 2030, India will be trying to achieve the target earlier, by 2027. Companies like Carrier and Daikin have already taken up the task seriously and do not use any equipment that uses Freon, as it contributes to the depletion of ozone layer.”
The Cold Chain Industry in India is developing at a fast pace and is forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 19 percent from 2017-2022. Earlier, while inaugurating the REFCOLD India 2018, Chief Minister of Gujarat, Shri Vijaybhai Rupani said, “It is our Prime Minister Narendra Modi target to double the farmer’s income by 2022. The refrigeration and cold chain industry will play a vital role in achieving this target. There was a time when lack of cold storage facility led to huge losses to agricultural produce. But with the government bringing about an infrastructure revolution, the situation has changed for good. Moreover, currently there are 376 potato cold storage units and 140 mix commodities cold storage units in the state of Gujarat in India. The government is working on to increase these numbers to further check the wastage. A provision of Rs. 50 Crore to set up cold storages with Multi Commodity Controlled Atmosphere Technology was made in the 2018-19 state Budget. Also, the cold storage capacity in the state, which is currently at 23 lac metric tons, will be increased to 30 lac metric tons by 2022.”― PR Newswire