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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.

 

Rome, Italy: Thursday 7th November, 2019: During the opening ceremony of the high level segment of the 31st Meeting of the Parties in Rome, Italy, Grenada was nominated and elected to represent the group of Latin America and the Caribbean as the President, to the Bureau of the 31st Meeting of the Parties of the  Montreal Protocol.

The Honorable Alvin Dabreo, who is the Head of Grenada’s delegation at the meeting and Minister with responsibility for Forestry and Fisheries in the Ministry of Climate Resilience, Environment, Forestry, Fisheries and Disaster Management, will occupy the chair as the President.

As part of Minister Dabreo’s first responsibilities as President, he will be required to to preside over the the meeting of the Parties and conduct the order of business. He would also be responsible for chairing the meeting of the Bureau for the review and approval of credentials of delegates at the meeting.

This is the second time that Grenada has occupied this high profile position at the Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol. In 2010, Michael Church served as the President to the Bureau of the 21st Meeting of the Parties.

 

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Customs Officers receives training in the use of refrigerant identifiers

Thursday October 24th, 2019, St. George’s Grenada:  The National Ozone Unit (NOU) in collaboration with the Grenada Customs and Excise Division has organized a Consultation for importers of refrigerants, customs brokers, trade officials and the Inland Revenue Division (IRD), to discuss a revision to the World Customs Organization (WCO), Harmonized System (HS) codes for hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).

According to National Ozone Officer, Mr. Leslie Smith, this level of consultation is necessary and timely since the ratification of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol and its entry into force on January 1st, 2019 requires Grenada to report on consumption of each HFC individually. However, data collection and the implementation of an important and export licensing system  would present a challenge, as the most recent HS Nomenclature 2017 Edition,  does not include individual codes  for HFCs. The next HS edition which will include HS codes for the most commonly traded HFCs and mixtures, will only enter into force in 2022.

Grenada and other early ratifiers of the Kigali Amendment are therefore encouraged to take early innovative and proactive measures at the national level to address this situation. The WCO recommends that countries may insert relevant new additional subheadings in their statistical nomenclature. Countries are therefore recommended to expeditiously insert additional sub-divisions for the HFCs and HFC containing blends to facilitate the collection and comparison of data on the international movement of HFCs and HFC blends controlled under the Montreal Protocol

The consultation would examine this issue thoroughly. During the consultation, the National Ozone Unit will inform the participants on the implications that this could have for Grenada in meeting its reporting requirements under the Kigali Amendment of the Montreal Protocol and future import control measures to be implemented for the importation of HFC refrigerants and their blends. The Customs & Excise Division would also have an opportunity to present for the first time, proposed subheadings, as well as, new breakout codes to be established for the classification of HFCs and their blends.

The consultation is planned for Thursday October 31st, at the National Cricket Stadium from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon.

The recovery of the ozone layer over Antarctica cannot be taken for granted
and requires constant vigilance. That’s the message from Dr Jonathan Shanklin, one of the scientists who first documented the annual thinning of the protective gas in the 1980s.

This year’s “hole” in the stratosphere high above the White Continent is the
smallest in three decades. It’s welcome, says Dr Shanklin, but we should really only view it as an anomaly. The better than expected levels of ozone have been attributed to a sudden warming at high altitudes, which can occasionally happen. This has worked to stymie the chemical reactions that usually destroy ozone 15-30km above the planet. “To see whether international treaties are working or not, you need to look at the long term,” Dr Shanklin told BBC News.

“A quick glance this year might lead you to think we’ve fixed the ozone hole. We haven’t. And although things are improving, there are still some countries out there who are manufacturing chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), the chemicals that have been responsible for the problem. We cannot be complacent.” Dr Shanklin, along with Joe Farman and Brian Gardiner, first alerted the world in 1985 that a deep thinning was occurring in the ozone layer above Antarctica each spring.

Ozone filters out harmful ultraviolet radiation from the Sun. The team’s discovery, confirming the theoretical predictions of others, led to the Montreal Protocol. This international treaty phased out most of the chlorine- and bromine containing chemicals involved in ozone depletion. At the time, these substances were being used widely as refrigerants, cleaning agents, and as the propellants in aerosol cans.

Source: OzoNews, Volume XIX, 15 October 2019 issue.

Thursday October 24th, 2019, St. George’s, Grenada. The National Ozone Unit in collaboration with the local GIZ office, will host a Strategic Planning Workshop for a Regional Consortium to address several  common issues facing the heating, ventilating, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC-R) industry in the Caribbean.

The two-day workshop is planned for Tuesday October 29th to Wednesday October 30th, at the TA MArryshow Community College (TAMCC). This workshop is part of the Caribbean Cooling Initiative (C-COOL) and is organised by UN Environment, United 4 Efficiency (U4E).  The workshop would be conducted for representatives of training institutions and/or a senior Refrigeration and Air conditioning (RAC) industry association personnel from each of the five partner countries, (the Bahamas, Barbados, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and Saint Lucia) and Grenada.

Among the many expected outcomes of the workshop are:

  • To identify a pathway toward establishing a common HVAC-R training curriculum throughout the region
  • To consider opportunities for encouraging new students to enter the field
  • To explore how to make HVAC-R a licensed profession
  • To discuss ways to establish a consortium of HVAC-R technician training institutes that fosters a regular exchange of best practices and lessons learned while minimizing duplication of effort
  • To share information on lessons learned from each participating country
  • To identify common challenges and barriers to the uptake of low GWP alternatives and discuss strategic activities to overcome them.

According to the organizers, the workshop should yield a range of findings, including those that can be put into action by the participants in the near-term, and others that may be aspirational for the future and may require additional outside funding and support.

Grenada has been chosen as the venue because of the country’s advanced development and application of alternative climate friendly solutions in the RAC industry and the establishment of a regional training center for natural refrigerants at TAMCC. This center was established to train and develop the capacity of HVAC technicians in the Caribbean region and to collaborate on capacity building and information sharing.

St. George’s, Grenada, Tuesday October 8th, 2019: As Grenada prepares for the new refrigerant reality, the National Ozone Unit (NOU) continues to engage all stakeholders to renew their commitment and to strengthen the cooperation in the global fight to rid the planet of ozone depleting substances (ODS) and fluorinated gases (F-gases) with high global warming potential, used in the refrigeration and air-conditioning sector.

A major stakeholder of the NOU is the Customs and Excise Division in the Ministry of Finance. As part of the co-operation between Customs and the NOU, Customs  Officers assist in ozone layer protection with monitoring and control of trade in refrigerants, data collection, public awareness and education, implementation of licensing and quota system, examination and testing of refrigerants at the various ports of entry, among other duties. National Ozone Officer, Mr. Leslie Smith, continues to lament, that the Grenada Customs and Excise Department plays a major role in assisting Grenada in successfully meeting and sustaining its obligations under the Montreal Protocol.

At the recently concluded Joint Thematic Network Meeting for Ozone Officers and Customs Officers held in Suriname, from October 6th- 7th, 2019, a number of important issues relating to customs roles in the successful implementation of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol were discussed.

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Mr. Rene Parkes, Grenada Customs

Grenada was represented at the meeting by Systems Administrator (for he ASYCUDA System), Mr. Rene Parkes. Mr. Parkes works very closely with the National Ozone Unit and has been one of the NOU certified Montreal Protocol trainers for customs officers since 2005. Mr. Parkes was actively engaged in the meeting and delivered several presentations. He informed the meeting of the various activities undertaken by the local customs division in support of the obligations of the NOU under the Montreal Protocol, such as, Customs roles in Risk Management, Monitoring, Reporting, Verification and Enforcement systems and the implementation of the e-licensing systems for importation of refrigerants in Grenada.  Grenada is one of few countries in the region tat has an e-licensing system in place for importation of refrigerants. Ozone Layer Protection is one of the integral training components in the Customs training manual for junior officers. 

The Grenada Customs Division is also assisting the NOU in the establishment of break out codes for the classification of HFCs to aid in the country’s data reporting requirements under the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol for the phase-down of HFCs.

A stakeholder consultation involving importers of refrigerants, customs brokers, trade officials and the Inland Revenue Department has been scheduled for October 29th, 2019 to present and discuss the proposed break-out codes to be established for classifying HFCs for customs declaration.

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Mr. Parkes in Working Group Session

 

Monday October 7th, 2019: The National Ozone Unit, Grenada, as part of its co-operation with the GIZ Proklima  and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) is the beneficiary of overseas training for local refrigeration and air conditioning (RAC)  technicians.  This initiative is undertaken through the capacity development component of “A Sustainable and Climate-friendly, Phase-out of Ozone Depleting Substances  (SPODS)” project that is funded by the Europeans Commission.

Two (2) RAC technicians left the island on Saturday October 5th, 2019 to attend the GIZ Proklima, Cool Training in Germany. The Cool Training is an international training series for RAC technicians that focuses on the safe application of Natural Refrigerant technologies. The two RAC technicians participating in the training are Mr. Glenn Forsyth, maintenance manger at the Maurice Bishop International Airport and Mr. Nicol Benjamin, supervisor at the Appliance Department at Jonas Browne and Hubbard’s (G’da) Limited. Mr. Forsyth is also the an executive member of the Grenada Refrigeration Air-conditioning and Ventilating Association (GRAVA). Both technicians have over 20 years experience each, in the RAC sector in Grenada. This brings to eleven (11) the number of Grenadian technicians who  attended the Cool Training in Germany, since 2016.

The objective of the Cool Training is to provide comprehensive knowledge and to develop the capacity of RAC technicians in the operation  and maintenance of cooling technologies using natural refrigerants. The training focuses on the safe application of propane (R290), Carbon dioxide (R744) in commercial refrigeration and an introduction to ammonia (R717) in refrigeration systems. It also heavily emphasizes hands-on practical sessions which makes up 70% of the training. Some of the areas that is included in the Cool Training include:

  • safety and environmental requirements
  • recovery of gases and replacement using R290 refrigerants
  • installation procedures for natural refrigerants
  • Brazing, pipe connection and joining
  • Leak detection and repair

The training also includes field tours to innovative German enterprises, such as natural refrigerant producers, RAC component manufacturers and refrigerant plants.

The National Ozone Unit has taken as a policy decision to leap-frog the high global warming potential (GWP) into ultra low GWP alternatives such as natural refrigerants. This decision is in line with Grenada’s obligations as a signatory to the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol for the phase-down of HFCs. The beneficiaries are expected to share the knowledge with other local technicians on their return to Grenada.

 

October 2, 2019, St. George’s, Grenada: The key stakeholders in the refrigeration and air conditioning (RAC) sector in Grenada  participated in a Stakeholder Consultation at the Grenada Bureau of Standards on Wednesday October 2nd, 2019, to discuss gaps identified in the sector and to identify strategic goals and activities to overcome these gaps. This initiative is part of “A Sustainable and Climate-friendly, Phase-out of Ozone Depleting Substances” (SPODS) project that  is undertaken by the National Ozone Unit (NOU) in the Energy Division of the Ministry of Public Utilities and Energy.

Stakeholder Consultation

Participants in Working Groups

Participants at the consultation represented a broad cross section of the RAC stakeholders in Grenada, including, importers, technicians, Customs divisions, the Grenada Bureau of Standards, Academia and the Grenada Refrigeration, Air-conditioning and Ventilating Association (GRAVA).

During the consultation, remarks were delivered by the National Ozone Officer, Mr. Leslie Smith, updating the stakeholders on the latest developments related to the Montreal Protocol and Grenada’s new obligations under the Kigali Amendment to the Protocol.  Project consultant, Dr. John Telesford also presented the key findings of a recent survey conducted and highlighted the current refrigerant consumption trends. Three working groups were set up to discuss the findings of the survey, particularly focusing on the key gaps identified. A number of strategic goals and activities to overcome these gaps were discussed in the working groups. Among the broad areas examined by the working groups were:

  • Refrigerants and Technology transfer;
  • Market Considerations
  • Capacity building, training and equipment upgrade
  • Public Awareness and education
  • Policy, legal and regulatory framework
  • Codes and Standards

Each working group presented brief reports on the outcome of their work.  Several activities were proposed including: the development of fiscal incentive schemes to promote the uptake of low GWP alternatives, import restriction of equipment reliant on ozone depleting and high GWP refrigerants, licensing of technicians, review of training curriculum for training institutions, promulgation of RAC legislation, development of a communication strategy and the provision of equipment and training to meet the emerging technologies requirement. The proposals presented by the working groups will be collated and included in the final report to the NOU, by the consultant.

 

Monday September 9th, 2019, São Paulo Brazil:  Grenada will participate for the first time at the FEBRAVA Exhibition and the CONBRAVA Congress in Brazil for the Heating, Ventilating, Air-conditioning and Refrigeration (HVAC-R) industry, from September 10th – 13th, 2019.

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Kwesi Hamlet at the CONBRAVA Congress, São Paulo, Braizil

The FEBRAVA Exhibition and it’s technical Congress, CONBRAVA, is a biennial event organised by the Brazilian HVAC Association that is considered to be the most important HVAC-R event in Latin America and the Caribbean region. Over 400 exhibitors and approximately 40,000 visitors are expected at the event.

The 2019 edition of the event is aimed at providing governments, the private sector ad other stakeholders, with the appropriate tools and an avenue to access information, technology trends and engage into meaningful discussions related to policy and standards. It will also assist developing countries in facilitating the transfer from the high global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants to zero/low GWP alternatives, that are also energy efficient. It is also an opportunity for the stakeholders to establish valuable partnerships and to network with each other.

The participants from Grenada are the National Ozone Officer, Mr. Leslie Smith and refrigeration and air-conditioning (RAC) technician and entrepreneur, Mr. Kwesi Hamlet. Mr. Hamlet is the owner and manager of Ultra Kool Services; a company that provides installation, repair and maintenance services, as well as, sale of parts and supplies for RAC equipment. When asked what his expectations in attending are, Mr. Hamlet indicated, “I want to be be able to network and establish business relationships with RAC equipment manufacturers, product developers and experts. I would also like to get first hand exposure and experience in the new and emerging technologies on the market so that I can better advise my clients on making informed decisions on technology options that are eco-friendly”. Mr. Hamlet recently participated in the pilot stage of the Refrigerant Drivers License program organised by the National Ozone Unit, where he was trained to be an instructor and assessor in the training of other technicians in Grenada.

While the FEBRAVA exhibition will focus on products and services offered by manufacturers, promoters and experts, the CONBRAVA Congress will cover a wide range of topics, many which would be of relevance to Grenada, including:

  • Hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) alternatives
  • Energy efficiency
  • LEED and Green/Sustainable buildings
  • Maintenance management, training and good practices
  • Standardization and regulations
  • Demanufacturing and disposal

Field visits are also organised to facilitate exchange of information and experiences on key areas such as: Recycling and Reclaiming Centers, ODS Destruction Facilities, Hydrocarbon Training Schools, Standards Association, CO2 Training Center and a visit to the Sao Paulo’s State Climate and Ozone Environment Agency.

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Mr. Hamlet at he FEBRAVA Exhibition

Grenada’s participation at the event is facilitated through funding provided by the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol as part of the Capacity Development Component of the HCFC Pahse out Management Plan (HPMP) that is implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO). Special thanks is also extended to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Regional Offcier for Latin America and the Caribbean for the logistical arrangements provided.

By: Curllan Bhola, GIZ Technical Consultant, C4 Project.

St. George’s, Grenada August 31, 2019: From Tuesday August 20th to Wednesday August 23rd, 2019, a workshop entitled, “Kigali Amendment: Challenges and Opportunities for the Caribbean Region” was organized by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), supported by the Government of New Zealand and  hosted by the Nationaunido workshop participantsl Ozone Unit (NOU) of  in Trinidad and Tobago.

The two-day workshop was attended by almost thirty (30) ozone and climate officers together with UNDP officials from across the English Speaking Caribbean region, and Haiti. The main objective of the workshop was to increase the understanding of the Kigali Amendment’s requirement and its implications for the Caribbean, ensuring countries be in the best position to tackle challenges and cash in on the opportunities that the amendment offers.

In the Caribbean region, significant investment in sustainable cooling technologies presents opportunities to: improve food security, human health, productivity and energy efficiency. Actions targeting sustainable cooling is one of the critical areas for tackling the climate change and achieving sustainable development. The availability of low (and ultra-low) global warming potential (GWP) alternatives is crucial to promote a sustainable transition and leap frog the growth of high GWP HFCs.

Discussions during the workshop centered around: consumption baseline calculations, consumption trends, establishment of licensing and quota systems, reporting requirements, available alternative technologies, among other topics. Some of the major challenges identified were:

  • Lack of access and availability to low GWP alternatives for all RAC applications
  • Uncertainty of the financial infrastructure for the additional obligations
  • Inadequate capacity, equipment and resources to handle the new and emerging technologies
  • Disposal and end of life treatment of RAC equipment and refrigerants
  • Reporting requirements
  • Data Collection ( HS Classification for HFCs)

In addition, the workshop included a presentation from Trinidad and Tobago on energy efficiency through the development of low-carbon RAC technologies and an overview of their national cooling strategy.

The Parties to the Montreal Protocol agreed to the Kigali Amendment in 2016 (entered into force January 1, 2019), a milestone agreement that addresses the phase down of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). Grenada is among three (3) Caribbean countries that have already ratified the Kigali Amendment.

The meeting also served in preparing National Ozone Officers for the discussions and negotiations during the upcoming 31st Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol , in Rome Italy, from November 4th – 8th, 2019.

RDL Officials and ParticpantsAugust 22, 2019, St. George’s, Grenada: On Thursday August 22nd, 2019 eight (8) senior refrigeration and air-conditioning experts in Grenada completed the train-the-trainers  global Refrigerant Driving License (RDL) program.  The RDL training which is a collaboration between the UN Environment and the Air-conditioning, Heating and refrigeration Institute (AHRI) of the United States was organised in collaboration with the National Ozone Unit (NOU) of Grenada.  The four (4) day training was held at the T A Marryshow Community College (TAMCC) , from Monday August 19th – Thursday August 22nd, 2019. The training was conducted by master trainer, Mr. Manuel Azucena, from the Philippines.

The RDL is a globally recognized and acceptable qualification program that sets minimum requirements for the proper and safe management of refrigerants in air-conditioning, heating and refrigeration equipment.  The main objective of the program is to help prepare Grenada for a smooth transition to alternative low/zero global warming potential (GWP) alternative refrigerants. The RDL program is supported by key international refrigeration and air-conditioning industry associations, including, ABRAVA, ACAIRE, AREA, AREMA, ASHRAE, EPEE, JRAIA, Refrigerant Australia and the Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy.

Over the four days of the program, the local experts received extensive theoretical and practical training to become trainers and assessors for the RDL program. Part of the exercise required them to be assessed during presentations on various RAC topics. The final day of the training was reserved for the four (4) hours external theoretical and practical examinations. The practical examination included extensive evaluation of the following key areas:

  • Tubing Works
    • Identification of tools and tubing practices, straightening, measuring, cutting, deburring, bending, swaging and flaring
    • brazing
  • Parameter reading and leak checking
  • Recovery, Vacuum and Charging

rdl-participants-e1566576352557.jpgThe participants of the training were: Michael Mitchell, Michael Cadore, Henry Frederick, Lance Simpson, Curtis James, Colville Julien, Glenn Forsyth and Kwesi Hamlet.  In approximately three (3) weeks time the participants will know their fate, by which time their examination papers would be graded  by AHRI and the results posted.

 

20180518_123423Friday June 28th, 2019, St. George’s, Grenada: As part of the celebrations to mark World Refrigeration Day 2019, the National Ozone Unit (NOU) in the Energy Division of the Ministry of Infrastructure Development Public Utilities, Energy, Transport and Implemetnation organized a National Refrigerant Symposium for stakeholders in the refrigeration and air conditioning industry in Grenada. The main objectives of the Symposium were to create awareness among refrigeration and air conditioning (RAC) stakeholders on the new and emerging refrigerant technologies. The Symposium also aimed to highlight some of the major opportunities and challenges the RAC sector faces and to identify recommendations for the smooth transition to these new technologies. The Symposium feature a wide range of presentations by several experts on key topics including:

  • Responsible use of refrigerants;
  • The refrigerant journey
  • Market access to new refrigerant technologies
  • Opportunities, challenges and barriers to new refrigerant technology uptake
  • New obligations related to refrigerants under the Kigali Amendment.

Among the stakeholders present at the symposium were: RAC equipment and refrigerant importers, procurement officers, government officials, RAC technicians, the Grenada Bureau of Standards, academia and training institutions and end users.

Marketing companies were also given an opportunity to promote the availability and accessibility of low/zero GWP, energy efficient RAC technologies that are either already on the island or soon to be introduced. The participants were informed that there are two Grenadian based companies that have Hydrocarbon (R290) mini-split AC units commercially available and that there are three companies already supplying the hydrocarbon refrigerants. An announcement was made on the testing of R-32 equipment by another company and to make them commercially available on the local market by the third quarter of 2019. A rebate of XCD 100.00 will be offered for every ton of cooling capacity of R-22 and R-410A replaced with the new R-32 equipment. The representative from the Grenada Bureau of Standards also informed of the two new standards that were established for the RAC sector and gave an insight on others that are currently been developed.

In support of these initiatives, National Ozone Offcier, Leslie Smith informed the participants, that the NOU would continue to provide capacity development, training opportunities and equipment for stakeholders in Grenada in preparation for the new refrigerant reality.

20190627_141331Joseph Michael Mitchell, is one Grenada’s longest standing, active technician in the refrigeration and air conditioning sector.  His service to the sector dates back as far as 1972, when he entered the Grenada Technical and Vocational Institute (GTVI) to pursue the program in refrigeration and air conditioning. Forty seven (47) years later, he is still actively pursuing this career.

Upon completing his studies at GTVI in 1975, he immediately gained employment with Jonas Browne and Hubbards, one of the leading appliance suppliers, as a service technician. Like a bedrock, he remained with Hubbards until his retirement in 2019.  At Hubbard’s he climbed to the position of Senior Technician and Supervisor with responsibility for installation, repair maintenance and servicing of refrigeration and air-condition equipment in the commercial department.

In 2006, himself together with some other stalwarts in the field and with support from the National Ozone Unit (NOU), founded the Grenada Refrigeration, Air-conditioning and Ventilating Association (GRAVA). He was elected as the first President of GRAVA and served in that capacity for six consecutive years, from 2006 to 2012.  Currently, he is the treasurer of the Association.

He has also been engaged as a training consultant, providing training for technicians in Suriname, Guyana, St. Kitts & Nevis, Barbados and Grenada.  Mr. Mitchell is considered as one of the main pioneers in the introduction of Hydrocarbons – R-290 refrigerants  in AC units in Grenada and the region.  He is an advocate for natural refrigerants and has been involved in training technicians in safe use of hydrocarbons and retrofitting of equipment.

Forty seven (47) years later he has kept himself abreast with all the technological 20190627_141218advancements in the sector and has completed several courses and certifications.

Forty seven (47) years later, on the occasion of the first World Refrigeration Day celebration, the honor was bestowed upon him, as he was presented with a Lifetime Award from the National Ozone Unit, for uninterrupted service and outstanding contribution to the refrigeration and air conditioning sector in Grenada.

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