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Larger scale shift to eco-friendly chillers anticipated

By Catherine Teces

MANILA, July 30 (PNA) — An official expects gains from the Philippine Chiller Energy-Efficient Project to drive mass replacement of chillers that are not environment-friendly, energy-efficient and have refrigerants with substances that deplete the ozone layer.

"This project is expected to demonstrate potential savings for building owners and result in a larger scale replacement of such chillers in the country," said PCEEP task team head Viraj Vithoontien from World Bank that's backing the undertaking.

He noted PCEEP provides grants to qualified recipients so they can replace their inefficient chillers with eco-friendly ones to reduce respective greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, energy consumption and ozone depletion.

Others can enjoy the same gains if they shift to eco-friendly chillers, he continued.

"When completed, PCEEP is expected to replace about 50 chillers and result in GHG emissions reduction of 62.4 ktCO2 and about 30 GWhr of reduced electricity usage," he said.

Experts warned GHG emissions trap heat in the atmosphere, raising global temperature that fuel climate change.

On July 29 this year, the environment department and other PCEEP proponents spearheaded in Metro Manila ceremonial turnover of the P1.3 million grant the project extended to five-star hotel The Peninsula Manila.

The PCEEP task team head lauded that hotel for deciding to replace its chiller with an eco-friendly one.

"Initial data confirms savings from the new chiller exceeded expectation," he reported.

He noted the new chiller will enable The Peninsula Manila to accommodate more guests and host more functions than it did last year without being burdened by higher electricity bills.

"Such provides clear evidence that protecting the environment is a winning business proposal as the hotel could accomodate more business with lower cost," he said.

He urged other interested parties to apply for PCEEP grants as soon as possible, noting the subsidy will end in December 2014.

PCEEP is backed by USD2.6 million and USD1 million funding from the Global Environment Facility and Multilateral Fund, respectively.

PCEEP chiller specialist Jose Grajeda noted applications for replacement of some 56 inefficient chillers nationwide were already submitted for possible funding under the project.

Such chillers are in Luzon (42 units), the Visayas (nine units) and Mindanao (five units), he said.

He said PCEEP is already reviewing the applications for possible approval.

PCEEP accepts grant applications from both public and private sectors, he noted.

Each grant under PCEEP covers 15 percent of a chiller's factory price, Grajeda continued.

"Freight cost, taxes and other expenses related to the chiller's installation aren't covered by PCEEP grants, however," he clarified.

Aside from environmental gains, authorities earlier said shifting to eco-friendly chillers will help the Philippines better comply with its obligations under the Montreal Protocol.

The Montreal Protocol is an international treaty that targets eliminating global production and consumption of ozone-depleting substances like chlorofluorocarbons in old, inefficient chillers.

Various countries inked such treaty to save the ozone layer which protects Earth from the sun's harmful ultra-violet rays. (PNA)


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