On Monday March 16, 2020, the Refrigeration and Air-conditioning Technicians Association (RACTA) of St. Vincent and the Grenadines hosted a general meeting for all RAC technicians on the island. Among the items on the agenda was the election of officers to serve on the new executive committee.

During the election of officers, the RAC technicians demonstrated their extended confidence in Mr. Gary Peters and re-elected him to serve as President of the association for another term.

Gary Peters is a Lecturer and Course Coordinator of the Refrigeration and Air conditioning programme at the Division of Technical and Vocational Education of the St.Vincent and the Grenadines Community College for the past 26 years. He holds a Bachelors of Science Degree in Building Services Engineering and a Diploma in Refrigeration and Air-conditioning Engineering.

Mr. Peters is also an international consultant and is responsible for preparing the Hydrochlorofluorocarbon Phase-out Management Plan (HPMP) for St.Vincent and the Grenadines. Additionally he is a certified United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) Trainer in Good Refrigeration Practices and Alternative refrigerant technologies. He has conducted several training workshops for Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Technicians, Custom Officers and Custom Brokers in the handling of Refrigerants and Alternative technologies and is one of the pioneers in the advocacy and application of natural refrigerant technologies in the Caribbean.

Due to his passion for training and capacity development of technicians in the refrigeration industry, he is determined to see the standards and practices of RAC technicians in the field raised to the highest possible levels.

Mr. Peters has been the beneficiary of attending several training courses in Grenada on alternative refrigerant technology, particularly, Natural refrigerants. The National Ozone Unit of Grenada congratulates Mr. Peters and the entire executive and wish them a very successful tenure in office.

Friday June 26th, 2020, marks the first anniversary and the second celebration of World Refrigeration Day. The theme for this year’s celebration focuses on the cold chain and is dubbed “Cold chain 4 life”.

Whereas, the National Ozone Unit, Grenada is unable to stage any major activities to celebrate this year due to the COVID pandemic, we join the rest of the world in celebrating this very significant day in the life of refrigeration and air-conditioning technicians.

World Refrigeration Day is of particular significance in creating greater awareness of the invaluable roles that RAC technicians play in ensuring comfort cooling, refrigeration of perishable foods and products and preservation of medicine. This has been very well articulated by David of carrier in his WRD message when he stated that, “…. one third of the food produced globally is wasted, when refrigeration is the answer…”.

Today we salute all RAC technicians globally. Happy #WRD2020.

Friday May 22nd, 2020, St. George’s, Grenada. Local appliance supplier, Jonas Browne & Hubbards (G’da) Limited joins the list of air-condition suppliers that sells the ozone-friendly, low global warming potential (GWP), energy efficient, R-32 air-conditioners. JBH has been a key stakeholder of the National Ozone Unit (NOU) dating back to 2002, as one of the leading suppliers of refrigeration and air-conditioning (RAC) equipment in Grenada.

Mr. Anthony Phillip – Manager Appliance Dept

Manager of the Appliance Department, Mr. Anthony Phillip demonstrated with pride the new line of products to the National Ozone Officer, Mr. Leslie Smith, at the company’s showroom at their main store on the Carenage, St. George’s. Mr. Phillip credits the support and encouragement provided by the NOU as a major factor in introducing this new line of environmentally friendly ACs. Earlier this year, from February 1-5, Mr. Phillip was a beneficiary of attending the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Winter Exhibition & Conference in Orlando Florida, where he was exposed to the latest available RAC technologies on the market.

In a noticeable small market, this brings to three the number of AC suppliers that have taken early initiatives to introduce this relatively new technology to Grenada. The other two current suppliers are Modern Electrical Solutions and Cooling Tech Limited. Other leading RAC companies, such as Viking Engineering and Total Engineering have also signalled their intention to include R-32 equipment in their catalogue of AC units in 2020. Grenada has already being recognised regionally for being among the first countries in the Americas to have R-290 (natural refrigerant – propane) air-conditioners commercially available.

Air-conditioning equipment using R-32 AC refrigerant is one of the alternative low-global warming potential (GWP) options to replace the high-GWP, R-410 unitary/splitAC units. As of 2019, it was discovered that R-410A was the dominant refrigerant used in Grenada and indications are of an increasing demand. However, since Grenada has already ratified the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol which came into effect on January 1, 2019, the use of these high GWP refrigerants must be phased down over the next two and half decades.

Many RAC experts have proven that R-32 AC units are a much better choice than R410A in terms of their impact on the environment and the economic benefits to the end users. Although they both belong to the same family of gases referred to as, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), R-32 has about one third the GWP of R-410A and is more energy efficient. Therefore it is much less damaging to the environment (if it is released into the atmosphere) and uses less electricity to operate.

The early actions taken by these companies is a clear indication of their contributions to the global effort, at the national level, to ultimately reduce global atmospheric temperatures and reverse the impacts of climate change.

St. George’s, Grenada:  The Grenadian refrigeration and air-conditioning (RAC) company, Cooling Tech Limited (CTL) is among five countries selected as winners of the Cooling as a Service (CaaS) Initiative by the Basel Agency for Sustainable Energy( BASE). The other four winners come from India, Nigeria, Costa Rica and Argentina.

CaaS involves building and business owners paying for the cooling service instead of investing in the infrastructure that delivers the cooling. The technology provider owns the cooling system, maintains it, and covers all operational costs including electricity. The periodic payments made by the customer are fixed-cost-per-unit and based on metered usage, whereby the client does not bear any risk related to the performance of the cooling equipment and the technology provider has the incentive to install the equipment offering the lowest life cycle cost to make the service more cost-effective.

The clients benefit from high quality cooling at better prices, and don’t need to distract any budget to acquire the system. Technology providers benefit from a continuous income stream and can establish long-term relationships with their clients.

Read more on the five winners here: https://www.caas-initiative.org/news/winners-of-the-caas-incubator/

ctl

St. George’s, Grenada. March 4th, 2020: Three (3) local refrigeration and air-conditioning (RAC) technicians would leave the island on Sunday March 8th, 2020 to attend the American Society of Heating, Ventilating and Air-Conditioning Society (ASHRAE), HVAC Design training in Miami Florida, from March 9th – 13th, 2020.

 

The HVAC Design Level I and Level II training is a widely recognized training conducted by ASHRAE.  ASHRAE is one of the leading institutions globally that focuses on building systems, energy efficiency, indoor air quality, refrigeration and sustainability within the HVAC industry.  The need for this type of training was identified by the NOU since it was recognized that insufficient attention is given to this area in the design and construction of buildings in Grenada. Also energy efficiency in the cooling sector is a major thrust  of the NOU; the design of HVAC systems is a critical factor in achieving this objective.

The training will cover a wide range of topics relative to HVAC design and would include in depth presentations and discussions on: design of air and hydronic systems, heat load and pressure drop calculations, duct design and sizing, systems selection, codes and standards, sustainability/Green/LEED, air moving equipment and designs for single and multi-story buildings, among others.

The technicians selected to attend the training represents a cross section of the RAC sector in Grenada, including academia (T A Marryshow Community College – TAMCC), the Grenada Refrigeration, Air-condition and Ventilating Association (GRAVA), and the private sector. The  technicians are: Mr. Henry Frederick adjunct HVAC lecturer at  TAMCC, Mr. Oral Ferguson representing the Grenada Refrigeration, Air-conditioning and Ventilating Association (GRAVA) and Ms. Jamie St. John representing the private sector company, Viking Engineering Co. Ltd.

HVAC design Particiants

The participation of these technicians at the training is facilitated by the National Ozone Unit (NOU) in the Energy Division of the Ministry of Infrastructure Development, Public Utilities, Energy, Transport and Implementation under the Sustainable Phase-out of Ozone Depleting Substances (SPODS) Project.  The SPODS project is funded by the European Commission and the Federal Goverment of Germany and is being implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Programme (UNIDO).

January 15, 2020, St. George’s, Grenada. Article 5 countries that are parties to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer are required to have an effective and functioning license and quota system to assist these countries in meeting their phase out of production and consumption of all ozone depleting substances.  Grenada was successful in establishing a License and Quota System in November 2013, to restrict the importation ozone depleting substances (ODS) into the country. (The refrigerant (HCFC 22 or R-22) is the only ODS imported).

The Quota System which regulates the amount of ODS that can be imported by each of the registered importers is distributed to the importers in the preceding year, of the year of import.  These annual import quotas assigned, have been reduced every year (since 2013) to coincide with the Montreal Protocol phase out targets.

Data on importation of ODS from the National Ozone Unit (NOU) indicates that only 64% of the import quota issued in 2019 were used up by the importers.  Further details revealed that of the seven (7) registered importers for importation of ODSs, three (3) companies did not used up any of their quotas while another two (2) did not use up all allocated to them.  However, two companies used up their full quotas.  More information from the NOU also indicates that although the NOU could have issued quotas up to 65% of its baseline, only 33% was issued in 2019.

According to National Ozone Officer, Mr. Leslie Smith, “there is a clear indication that the importation or consumption of ozone depleting substances at the national level is on the steep decline from 15.8 metric tonnes in 2009 to approximately 3.2 metric tonnes at the end of 2019. This is primarily due to the very successful implementation of the licensing and quota system along with the co-operation received from refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment importers in introducing alternative technologies with zero ozone depleting potential (ODP) and low global warming potential (GWP)”.

This consumption level means that Grenada is well ahead of its 65% reduction in relation to the Montreal Protocol’s January 01, 2020 phase out target for Article 5 countries.

 

January 15, 2020, St. George’s, Grenada. The National Ozone Unit (NOU) of Grenada continues to deliver impressive results with regards to the country’s ozone depleting substances (ODS) phase-out obligations under the Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer.

Grenada, considered a very low volume consuming country of ozone depleting substances, established a baseline of 15.1 metric tonnes and a freeze in consumption in the year 2013.  Under the Montreal Protocol’s phase out schedule, Article 5 (developing countries ) are required to achieve a 35% reduction in consumption of their baseline, by January 01, 2020.

Data on consumption of ODS as of January 1, 2020, from the National Ozone Unit (NOU),ODS data capmaprioson indicates that the country’s consumption level is well with the Montreal Protocol phase out obligations. According to National Ozone Officer, Mr. Leslie Smith, “Grenada has not only surpassed its 2020 obligations in phasing out ODSs, but is already ahead of it’s 2025 consumption target” (set by the Montreal protocol).  Mr Smith further indicated, that to date, Grenada has phased out approximately 80% of ODSs consumed in the country. Grenada and other Article 5 countries are required to phase out consumption of ODS by 2030. It is projected that the complete phase out of HCFCs in Grenada can occur well in advance of this target.

The NOU recognizes the efforts and contributions of all the National Stakeholders that are responsible for these results. Among them are: importers of RAC equipment and refrigerants, the Customs and Excise Division, the Department of Trade, the Grenada Refrigeration, Air-Conditioning and Ventilating Association (GRAVA), the Grenada Bureau of Standards (GDBS) and the TA Marryshow Community College (TAMCC).

FBFA99DE-0807-4863-8F8A-FB0F92CBDCEAMontreal, Canada: December 16th, 2019: Honorable Alvin Dabreo, Minister in the Ministry of Climate Resilience, the Environment, Forestry, Fisheries and Disaster Management is attending the 84th Meeting of the Executive Committee of the Multilateral Fund for the implementation of the Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer taking place in Montreal Canad from December 16th – 20th, 2019.

Minister Dabreo is attending in his capacity as President of the Bureau to the 31st Meeting of the Parties.  At the Executive Committee meeting a number of key financial decisions are taken particularly with respect to funding approval for country projects and proposals.  Among the key issues to be discussed at this Executive Committee meeting are, matters relating to the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, in particular the development of the cost guidelines for the phase-down of HFCs and Energy Efficiency. Another important issue on the agenda for discussion is the implications of integrating the implementation of the HCFC phaseout  and HFC phase down activities.

Also attending the meeting is the National Ozone Officer, Mr. Leslie Smith, who is an elected member of the Executive Committee for the years 2018 and 2019 and representing Grenada from the regional network of Latin America and the Caribbean.

facebook_1576123763285Georgetown, Guyana. Thursday 5th December, 2019: Heating, Ventilating, Air-conditioning and Refrigeration technicians from across the Caribbean region met in Guyana to attend an Energy efficiency and alternatives Technologies Workshop from December 3rd – 5th, 2019 organised by the National Ozone Action Unit of Guyana in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Government of New Zealand.

Also attending the meeting was the National Ozone Officer of Grenada, Mr. Leslie Smith, who seized the opportunity to convene a meeting of the technicians to discuss an “old” issue that has been given “new life”.  The idea of a formation of a Caribbean Association of HVAC technicians was  initiated in Grenada in 2012 and recently discussed at an Expert Group Meeting organised by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) in Suriname (October 5th, 2019) and more recently at a Caribbean Cooling (C-COOL) Initiative Strategic Workshop for a Regional Consortium in Grenada (October 30th, 2019).

During this special meeting organised in the margins of the Energy Efficiency Workshop, twenty four (24) technicians representing a cross section of thirteen (13) countries across the Caribbean attended. In addition to the issue of the HVAC Association,convener of the meeting, Mr. Leslie Smith identified several other areas for discussion, among them were: the development of a unified curriculum for HVAC-R training at tertiary institutions in the region, the establishment of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Caribbean HVAC associations and the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration European Association (AREA) and a regional licensing system for technicians.

A major outcome of the meeting was the establishment of a Steering Committee with the overall objective of setting up the framework and leveraging financing for the establishment of the regional association of HVAC-R technicians. The steering committee is comprised of the following members:

  1. Leslie Smith – Grenada (Chair/Convener)
  2. Frederick Beausoleil – St. Lucia (Recording Secretary)
  3. Michael Harte – St. Lucia
  4. Grantly Parris – barbados
  5. Gary Peters – St. Vincent & the Grenadines
  6. Vernon Ramjattan – Trinidad & Tobago
  7. Patrick Chinedu Ozwuzirike – Guyana

The Committee already held its first meeting in Guyana and discussed among other issues:

  • the selection of a Chair and Recording Secretary;
  • the development of Terms of Reference (TOR) for its members;
  • Distribution of introductory letters to all HVAC-R associations in the Caribbean
  • A schedule for virtual meetings of the Steering Committee

The National Ozone Unit of Grenada wishes this Committee well in coordinating activities for regional HVAC-R technicians.

C355F458-8622-4D99-9ED3-243673396103Georgetown, Guyana. December 4th, 2019. Grenada is participating in a three day seminar on Energy Efficiency and Alternative Technologies for the Cooling sector from December 3rd to 5th, 2019 in Georgetown, Guyana.  The seminar is organized by the National Ozone Unit of Guyana in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Government of New Zealand.

The seminar has a strong focus on the use of natural refrigerants in the cooling sector principally hydrocarbon (R-2900) and Carbon dioxide (CO2).  The participants will also visit CO2 and ammonia cooling systems in Guyana. More details will follow.

20191127_104720Wednesday November 27th, 2019: With the growing demand for refrigeration and comfort cooling, the choice of technology of refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment and the responsible use of refrigerants has become a critical factor for consideration.

With the entry into force of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol for the phase down of the high global warming potential hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), developing countries like Grenada are challenged to find suitable alternative refrigerants with zero  ozone depleting and low global warming potential, while at the same time delivering improved energy efficiencies. Many of the alternatives available on the market today have safety issues related to either their flammability, toxicity or high pressure operations.  This situation therefore, calls for the responsible use and management of refrigerants.

In addressing this issue, UN Environment has partnered with the Air-conditioning Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI)  to pilot the global Refrigerant Driving License (RDL) Program. The RDL is a globally recognized and acceptable qualification program for refrigerant management, that is accredited by ten (10) of the world’s leading Heating Ventilating and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) institutions and associations. Grenada was one of six countries selected world-wide to participate in the  (RDL) Program.

20191127_162824 (1)The objectives of the RDL program are to:

  • Help prepare countries for a smooth transition to alternative refrigerants.
  • Increase the safety of practitioners and consumers.
  • Promote cost effective services across the Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration (HVAC&R) supply chain network.
  • Reduce ozone depleting substances (ODS), as well as greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions

Eight (8) technicians from Grenada participated in the program that consisted of facebook_1576197685358theoretical and practical assessments. In a video message presented by Michael LaGiglia of AHRI during the recognition ceremony, he described the the results from Grenada as been excellent. He went on to say that “there was a 100% pass rate in the practical assessment and  six out of the eight technicians scored more than 75% and are qualified as RDL trainers, while the other two scored from 69 and 74% as are categorized as RDL technicians”. This was the best result recorded globally among the six pilot countries.

facebook_1576197705991All eight technicians were recognized and presented with their certificates and badges at a recognition ceremony organised by the National Ozone Unit. The certificates were presented by the Honorable Alvin Dabreo, of the Ministry of Climate Resilience, the Environment, Forestry Fisheries and Disaster Management.  Minister Dabreo was also elected as President to the Bureau at the 31st Meeting of the Parities to the Montreal Protocol, held in Rome, Italy from November 4th-8th, 2019. Mrs Esther Thomas, Senior Planning Officer in the Ministry of Infrastructure Development, Public Utilities, Energy, Transportation an Implementation also assisted with the presentations and delivered remarks on behalf of the Ministry.

 

 

Please view this video produced by the BBC on this very important topic.

https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-us-canada-50352588/durwood-zaelke-how-changes-to-air-conditioning-will-fight-global-warming?SThisFB=

 

St. George’s, Grenada: Refrigeration and Air-condition training instructors from technical colleges from five (5) Caribbean Cooling Initiative (C-COOL) partner countries joined their counterparts in Grenada during a Strategic Planning workshop to discuss several issues and to share experiences on common challenges  faced across the region.  

The two day workshop, which was organized by the UN Environment , United 4 Efficiency and hosted by the National Ozone Unit (NOU) in collaboration with GIZ, consisted of participants from Barbados, the Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, St. Lucia and host country, Grenada. Also participating in the workshop were, Mrs. Loreto Duffy-Mayers, regional coordinator of the C-Cool Project, Giz representatives and the National Ozone Officer of Grenada.

At the end of the two days of discussions, the Consortium of Instructors concluded on some priority objectives for the near term and long term. The priority near term objectives were:

  • to develop a harmonized training curriculum across the region equivalent to the CARICOM Vocational Qualification (CVQ)
  • Establishment of memorandum of understanding (MOU) between training institutions and National Ozone Units
  • Establishment of a communication forum for instructors, technicians and National Ozone Units across the Caribbean
  • Revival of Association of technicians
  • Strengthening of relationships between national association of technicians and NOU’s

The longer term priority objectives agreed to were:

  • establishment of a regional association of technicians
  • National and regional licensing system of RAC technicians
  • International accreditation of regional training institutions

The consortium agrees to continue this work started and would engage the wider technician groups throughout the region and is seeking the assistance of industry organizations and donor agencies to realize those objectives.

 

 

 

 

St. George’s, Grenada:  Grenada continues to take on a leadership role in the application Natural refrigerant technology in the refrigeration and air conditioning (RAC) industry. In addition to having some of the most qualified technicians in the region in this area, Grenada continues to forge ahead by being54A93A0F-2EC0-4B05-9B82-D323426FF96D the first and only country in the Caribbean to have commercially available the R-290 unitary air conditioning systems. Already, over 80% of all RAC technicians in Grenada have received some level of training in natural refrigerants, particularly, hydrocarbons.

Hydrocarbons (R-600A, and R290) are two of the natural refrigerants used in Grenada as replacements for the high global warming potential (GWP), fluorinated gases used as refrigerants.  Hydrocarbon refrigerants have an ozone depleting potential (ODP) of zero and a GWP of less than three, in addition to being one of most energy efficient refrigerants use in RAC systems.

On Tuesday October 29th, with support from GIZ and the National Ozone Unit (NOU), training equipment with a combined estimated value of over XCD 100,000 was handed over to TAMCC for the establishment of a Regional hub for the training in Natural Refrigerant technologies (Hydrocarbon, Ammonia and Carbon dioxide). The equipment provided are ATEX approved and is specifically designed to handle flammable refrigerants.  The list of equipment includes: flammable refrigerant leak detectors, recovery machines, vacuum pumps, recovery cylinders, multi-refrigerant identifiers, blower fans, electronic charging scales, r -290 air-conditioners  and quantities of R-600a and R-290 refrigerants among others.

TAMCC with this upgraded facility, would be organizing a number of training opportunities for the Caribbean region as part of the Grenada Cool Training Series in Natural Refrigerant technology, in early 2020.

 

St. George’s, Grenada:  During the opening ceremony of the Regional Consortium, Strategic Planning Workshop held in Grenada on October 29th, 2019, a five (5) year memorandum of understanding was signed between Grenada’s leading technical and vocation institution, the T A Marryshow Community College (TAMCC) and the German Agency, GIZ, for strategic co-operation in the area of sustainable training for refrigeration and air conditioning technicians in natural refrigerant technology.

Under this MOU, TAMCC is required to undertake curriculum review and quality assurance as well as training, certification and other support such as making the HVAC lab available for training.   TAMCC also has a responsibility for enhancement of the facility.

GIZ on the other hand would be responsible for provision of natural refrigerant specific tools, assisting in trainer recruitment and capacity development. They would also be responsible for providing training materials and assisting with curriculum development, facility enhancement and public awareness.

The MOU also speaks to the establishment of of an oversight committee that would be constituted with representatives from TAMCC, GIZ and the National Ozone Unit (NOU)

Signing on behalf of TAMCC wa s the Principal, Dr. Jeffrey Britton and on behalf of GIZ, Ms Marion Geiss, Technical Advisor and head of the local GIZ Office.

July 2020
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