FG affirms commitment to eradication of ozone depleting substances

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By Grace Alegba and Uchenna Eletuo

Lagos, Sept. 22, 2020 The Federal Government has said that it is committed to phasing out Ozone Depleting Substance (ODS) to mitigate the impact of climate change and enhance growth and development of local manufacturing industries.

The Minister of the Environment, Dr Mohammad Abubakar, said this on Tuesday while inaugurating the System House at Vitapur Nigeria Limited established for the production of Methyl Formate Based Pre Blended Polyols in the Rigid Polyurethane Foam Sector in Lagos.

He listed the benefits of waste recycling which the firm was promoting through the project to include: reduction of pollution, checking environmental degradation and preservation of the environment.

He said that with the completion of the project, Vitapur was expected to phase out the use of Hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC)-141b in their operations by January 2021 in the manufacture of rigid polyurethane foam.

“Vitapur is also expected to supply methyl formate systems to downstream end users. These will lead to the phasing out of 425.4 metric tons of HCFC-141b in the foam sector,” he said.

The minister quoted a 2013 report in the journal of climate change, as saying that “these and other effects of global warming, if left unchecked, may contribute to the disappearance of one-half of the earth’s plant and one-third of animals by 2080″.

He expressed satisfaction at the completion of the project last year which involved: retrofits/replacement of equipment, training, establishment of laboratory/quality control facilities and trials.

“This is at a time that we are preparing for the commencement of the implementation of Stage II of the HPMP Project as well as the Kigali Amendment on phase down of Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).

“HFCs are greenhouse gases with high global warming potential used essentially as cooling agents in the Refrigeration and Air Conditioning sector.

“Thus, the commissioning ( inauguration ) of this project is a laudable achievement for us in our plan to phase out Ozone Depleting Substances and in the mitigation of climate change,” he said.

The minister commended the efforts of implementing agencies which include: UNDP and UNIDO in the implementation of the Hydrochlorofluorocarbon Phase Out Management Plan (HPMP) project for shrinking the volume of wastes for recycling.

“It is on this note that I commission the System House today. I will also be presenting the handover Protocol for the project of Vitapur Ltd, which is jointly signed by my humble self on behalf of the government and UNDP,” he said.

Earlier, Dr Babatunde Makanjuola, the Chairman of Vitafoam Nigeria PLC and Vitapur Nigeria Ltd., said that the firm had been able to beat global record by reducing the final waste generated from its foam factories to only one per cent.

He said that Vitapur Nigeria Limited as a subsidiary of Vitafoam had successfully used its technology to both shrink waste and control weather conditions.

It had been using its products such as insulators for the construction of cool classrooms for schools in Northern Nigeria during the hot season, he said.

According to him, we have been initiating products that will benefit Nigerians.

He said that the occasion marked a turning point in the nation’s quest to further demonstrate corporate e- social responsibility and commitment to global efforts at preserving the environment.

“It gives me tremendous joy and a deep sense of satisfaction that Vitafoam Nigeria PLC, through one of her subsidiary companies, Vitapur, is part of the global initiatives aimed at eradicating the use of ozone depleting substances in industrial processes and its existential threat to mankind and nature,” he said.

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