• Grants sought to replace 56 ozone-destructive chillers

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    Authorities are reviewing, for possible approval, applications for grants that will help fund the shift to nationwide use of chillers which are environment-friendly, energy-efficient and with refrigerants having either low or no substances that deplete the ozone layer.

    The applications cover replacement of some 56 inefficient chillers with eco-friendly ones, noted Jose Grajeda, chiller specialist of the Philippine Chiller Energy-Efficient Project (PCEEP) which is the World Bank-assisted local initiative for providing the grants.

    “There are pending applications for 42 chillers in Luzon, nine chillers in the Visayas and five chillers in Mindanao,” he said.

    PCEEP is backed by US$ 2.6 million and US$ 1 million funding from the Global Environment Facility and Multilateral Fund, respectively.

    Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and its partners came up with PCEEP, noting that shifting to more efficient chillers will reap environmental gains for the Philippines and help the country 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 (ODS) 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.

    On July 29 this year, DENR Sec. Ramon Paje spearheaded in Metro Manila ceremonial turn-over of the P1.3-million grant to five-star hotel The Peninsula Manila which applied for, and became the first recipient of, the PCEEP subsidy for facilitating the shift to more efficient chillers.

    During the event, he called on all hotel chains in the Philippines and players in other chiller-using industries nationwide to apply for PCEEP grants as well.

    Shifting to eco-friendly chillers will help the country “seriously contribute to ODS reduction,” he noted.

    Grajeda said both public and private sectors can apply for PCEEP grants.

    “The main qualifications are applicants must own the chillers and these units must be inefficient ones,” he said.

    Each grant under PCEEP covers 15 percent of a chiller’s factory price, he noted.

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

    PCEEP task team leader Viraj Vithoontien also said the subsidy will be granted upon completion of the replacement chiller’s installation.

    He urged interested parties to already apply for PCEEP grants as soon as possible.

    Such funding assistance will end in December 2014, he said during the event.

    Between 53 to 60 chillers can be funded by PCEEP grants, Grajeda continued.

    PCEEP proponents earlier made such estimate based on the US$ 60 per ton of refrigeration ceiling parameter they established for the project, he noted.

    Citing studies experts previously prepared for PCEEP, DENR Foreign-Assisted and Special Projects Office Dir. Edwin Domingo said the project is expected to replace some 30,650 tons of refrigeration by 2014.

    PCEEP is also expected to realize a 5,700-kg reduction in ozone-depleting potential and generate at least nearly 125 gigawatt-hours of electricity savings, DENR noted.

    DENR added PCEEP is expected to achieve a 62,400-ton reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. PNA

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