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Press Release

State of Fluorocarbons Recovery from Commercial Freezer/Air Conditioner in FY 2004

December 16, 2005

The Ministry of the Environment (MOE) released the state of the recovery of fluorocarbons from the class-1 specified equipments (i.e., commercial freezers such as food showcases, large scale freezers/refrigerators and refrigerated storages, and commercial air conditioners) in FY 2004. The class-1 fluorocarbons recovery operators reported to the prefectural governors the amount of fluorocarbons recovered from the class-1 specified equipments in FY 2004 in compliance with the Law concerning the Recovery and Destruction of Fluorocarbon (hereinafter referred to as "the Fluorocarbons Recovery and Destruction Law"). The aggregated value obtained from those reports was approximately 2,102 tons (11.3% increase compared to FY 2003).

The Fluorocarbons Recovery and Destruction Law obliges the class-1 fluorocarbons recovery operators which are authorized to recover refrigerant fluorocarbons from end-of-life commercial freezers/air conditioners to report the amount of recovered fluorocarbons in the previous fiscal year to prefectural governor. The prefectural governors shall report this information to the competent ministers (Minister of the Environment and Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry). The competent ministers are obliged to summarize and release the collected information on recovery and destruction of fluorocarbons from specified equipments (Tables 1, 2 & 3).

In order to accomplish thorough recovery of fluorocarbons, strenuous efforts are essential, since recovered fluorocarbons is increasing compared to FY 2003 but the rate of recovery is estimated to be low. In this respect, measures for reducing fluorocarbon emission are being deliberated in the joint committee of Subcommittee on Fluorocarbons Reduction Measures of Global Environment Committee of the Central Environment Council and Fluorocarbon Collection/Destruction Working Group of Subcommittee on Climate Change Countermeasures of Chemical/Biotechnology Committee of Industrial Structure Council, and the draft report was compiled. The MOE shall invite public comments on the draft report from today until January 16, 2006.

1. Based on the shipped units by year according to the kinds of commercial freezers/air conditioners, yearly ratio of disposed units and initial volume of refrigerant mounted, the estimation indicates that there were 6,874 tons of refrigerant fluorocarbons in package air-conditioners and commercial freezers/air conditioners disposed of in FY 2004. Based on the figure and the recovered volume (2,102 tons), the recovery rate of refrigerant fluorocarbons was estimated to be around 31% (28% in FY 2003). When estimation was made taking into account statistics of construction and demolition of buildings, total volume of refrigerant fluorocarbons disposed in FY 2004 is estimated to 5,003 tons, and the recovery rate based on this figure is 42%.
2. According to compilation of amount based on the reports submitted by destruction operators announced on June 28, 2005, the amount of fluorocarbons delivered to class-1 destruction operators by class-1 recovery operators was 2,490 tons in FY 2004, which is 145% of the figure reported by recovery operators, which was 1,714 tons. This difference is considered to include fluorocarbons recovered during the repairing or maintenance besides disposal.
3. Since January 1, 2005, relevant articles of the "class-2 specified equipment" in the Fluorocarbons Recovery and Destruction Law are transferred to the Law for the Recycling of End-of-Life Vehicles, and the recovery of fluorocarbons from air conditioners installed on the end of use motor vehicles are conducted in accordance with the Law for the Recycling of End-of-Life Vehicles. The fluorocarbons recovered before its entry into force by class-2 recovery operators who recover fluorocarbons in car's air conditioners are aggregated by prefectural governments and are notified to the competent Ministers. The information is to be summarized and released.


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