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ST. GEORGE’S, GRENADA, Monday, March 28, 2011: The Government of Guyana, through their National Ozone Unit in collaboration with United Nations Environment Programme/Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean (UNEP/ROLAC), has organised a Regional Technical Meeting for Refrigeration and Air Conditioning (RAC) Technicians in Guyana. Mr. Henry Frederick and Mr. John Campbell are the two local Refrigeration and Air Conditioning (RAC) Technicians, nominated by the Grenada Refrigeration Air-Conditioning and Ventilation Association (GRAVA), to represent Grenada at the meeting.

Mr. Frederick is the Public Relations Officer of GRAVA and is attached to the Maurice Bishop International Airport (MBIA), while Mr. Campbell is a member of GRAVA attached to the St. George’s University (SGU).

The meeting will be held from March 30 – 31, 2011 and technicians from most of the countries of the English Speaking Caribbean and Haiti are expected to attend.

Among the many issues down for discussion, the meeting will essentially focus on the following areas:

Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVA) and Certification of Technicians;

 

Availability and challenges of the Caribbean Region in the Adaptation of longer term alternative technology; and

 

The management of Refrigeration Associations nationally and the establishment of a Regional Association for RAC technicians.

 

 

The technicians will also discuss ways in which RAC associations of CARICOM can assist in the rebuilding process of Haiti.

Mr. Frederick, who is leading the Grenada delegation, is expected to deliver two presentations at the meeting. One presentation will be on the Availability of Longer Term Alternatives in the Caribbean, while the other will focus on the Management of Refrigeration Associations Nationally.

The participation of the Grenada Technicians is being facilitated by the National Ozone Unit of Grenada, through its Hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) Phase out Management Plan (HPMP), which is funded by the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. The funding being provided will cover air travel, accommodation, a Daily Subsistence Allowance (DSA) for other incidental costs.

On Monday March 28, 2011, the two technicians were presented with their travel package at the office of the National Ozone Unit in the Energy Division on the Ministry of Finance.

The technicians are expected back in Grenada on Friday April 1st, 2011. Upon their return, they will be required to share the information and experience gained, with other technicians on the island.

Students at the T. A. Marryshow Community College (TAMCC) benefitted from the expertise and experience of a Regional Expert in the Refrigeration and Air-Condition (RAC) industry during a lecture organized by the National Ozone Unit, Energy Division, Ministry of Finance on Friday March 18th, 2011 at the College compound. This lecture was developed to assist these students in their preparation for entry into the world of work.

During the 90 minute lecture, Mr. Badassee Nanan from the Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Industry Association (ARIA) of Trinidad and Tobago, a leading expert in the region in this sector, spoke to the students on some key areas that are of utmost importance to them.

Mr. Nanan delivered on a wide range of subjects including: professionalism in the workplace, attitudes to succeed, research and development, training, retraining and self development among others.

He particularly singled out the area of research and development and the need for young technicians to engage themselves in continuous reading and research to assist in updating their knowledge for an industry that is dynamic and ever changing. Mr. Nanan also stressed on the importance for young technicians to become affiliated with internationally recognized bodies and institutions that are major stakeholders of the HVAC industry.

Also present and delivering brief remarks during the exercise were: Project Officer in the National Ozone Unit (NOU), Mr. Leslie Smith and the lecturers at the college, Mr. Michael Cadore and Mr. Henry Frederick.

Several of the students who participated are being provided with Scholarships funded by the NOU under Grenada’s Terminal Phase-out Management Plan (TPMP) for CFCs.

Mr. Nanan’s visit to Grenada is funded and coordinated by the NOU.

The main purpose of his visit to Grenada is to conduct training to senior RAC technicians in R-407C and R-410A technology on Saturday March 19th, 2011. This exercise is a continuation of a similar workshop held for local technicians last week in Natural Refrigerant technology. These workshops are being conducted as part of Grenada’s effort to phase out HCFCs under HCFC Phase out Management Plan (HPMP) and to introduce Ozone friendly technologies.

The National Ozone Unit (NOU) in the Energy Division of the Ministry of Finance continues to promote the use of non-ozone depleting, low Global Warming Potential (GWP), alternatives for the refrigeration and air-conditioning sector in Grenada.

During the first in a series of training workshops organized by the NOU held on Saturday March 12th, at the National Stadium, local technicians were trained in Natural Refrigerant Technology. The technicians were exposed to information in relation to the application of ammonia, carbon dioxide and hydrocarbons as refrigerants in Grenada.

These natural refrigerants are well known to have the advantages of almost zero ozone depleting and global warming potentials. During the workshop, much of the emphasis was placed on the use of hydrocarbon refrigerants. Hydrocarbon refrigerants have been used extensively in Europe over the last ten years in domestic refrigeration and have the additional advantage of being very energy efficient. This factor makes it most suitable for application in an era when energy cost is relatively high.

During the brief opening ceremony, Project Officer in the National Ozone Unit, Mr. Leslie Smith outlined the importance of the training to the local technicians. Mr. Smith went on to indicate that this is part of Grenada’s global effort to rid the planet of Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) and to introduce alternatives with low Global Warming Potential (GWP). He urged the participants to make full use of this opportunity as it will equip them with the latest technologies available and allow them to have a competitive advantage as new and emerging technologies are released in the refrigeration and air-conditioning industry.

Sixteen (16) technicians representing various institutions and companies participated in the workshop. The workshop included both theoretical and practical components. During the practical component the technicians gained hands on experience in retrofitting refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment containing refrigerants with significantly high ozone depleting and global warming potential to hydrocarbon technology. This involved the retrofitting of domestic refrigerators and mobile air condition (MAC) systems.

The training was conducted by two senior local technicians, Mr. Michael Mitchell and Mr. Henry Frederick both of whom have been certified by the NOU to conduct such training. Mr. Fredrick in his presentation indicated to the participants that hydrocarbon refrigerants have been considered by many experts in the refrigeration and air-conditioning sector as the refrigerant of the future because of its desirable characteristics, particularly its low ODP, GWP and high energy efficiency. However, he was quick to add there was a safety concern related to the use of hydrocarbon refrigerants since it is a flammable refrigerant.

This training is an integral component of Grenada’s Hydrochlorofluorcarbon (HCFC) Phase out Management Plan (HPMP) which is due to be officially launched in April 2011. Under this plan Grenada is required to phase out 35% of its consumption of HCFC refrigerants by the year 2020.

Training for refrigeration and air-conditioning technicians continues on Saturday March 19th, 2011 at the National Stadium. This training will be conducted in refrigerant 407C and 410 A technologies and will be conducted by an expert from Trinidad and Tobago.