UG refrigerant course seen as vital to phasing out ozone-depleting gases

Acting Chief Hydrometeorological Officer Garvin Cummings (DPI photo)

The University of Guyana (UG)  on Tuesday launched a refrigerant management and equipment presentation course that teaches new and emerging technologies to replace chemicals  harmful to the atmosphere.

According to the Department of Public Information (DPI), the 8-10 weeks course, which will be facilitated through UG’s Faculty of Technology, is part of Guyana’s efforts to phase out the use of Hydrochlorofluorocarbons  (HCFCs) in line with the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. Guyana ratified the Protocol in August, 1993.

Acting Chief Hydrometeorological Officer, Garvin Cummings, said that the course is critical to the success of the phase-out programme.

“A critical element is the training of personnel on issues related to the phase-out of ozone-depleting substances [and] on new and emerging technologies to replace the substances and technologies that are currently being phased out,” Cummings said.

The refrigerant management course is a collaboration between the Ministry of Agriculture’s Hydrometeorological Services, UG and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Vishal Persaud, who heads the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University, said that the certificate programme targets students in electrical and mechanical engineering and industry professionals.

“The programme is designed to cover a variety of topics: from current refrigerant use to the different types of blends, to their environmental impacts, and alternatives to the HCFCs that were used in the past,” Persaud explained.

The initiative is an important milestone for the HCFC phase-out management plan,” UNDP Resident Representative, Mikiko Tanaka added.

“Recognition should be given to the University of Guyana for taking the steps to incorporate this training into its curriculum,” she said, according to DPI.

Support for the project was provided in part by the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol, UNDP, UN Environment and the Ministry of Agriculture.

The Hydrometerological Services, through the National Ozone Action Unit, is leading Guyana’s efforts to phase out HCFCs.

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