By Hana Namrouqa

AMMAN – Two-and-a-half tonnes of ozone depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFC), will be collected and recycled from four private and public institutions before the end of the year, officials said on Thursday.

Under an agreement signed yesterday between the Ministry of Environment and the National Halons Company Limited, an affiliate of the King Abdullah II Design and Development Bureau (KADDB), the latter will be in charge of collecting, transporting and storing all unwanted CFC gases on behalf of the government until the ministry’s National Ozone Unit (NOU) identifies a suitable disposal option.

The $20,000 agreement is part of the Jordan Chiller Replacement Project, which is supported by the Multilateral Fund for the implementation of the Montrژal Protocol.

Under the project, which seeks to reduce emissions of ozone-depleting substances by the elimination of CFC-use in chillers, four institutions replaced CFC-based chillers with energy-efficient chillers.

The institutions are the International Airport Group, the Royal Culture Centre, Le Mژridien Hotel in Amman and Jannet Maeen Hotel in Maeen.

Vice Chairman of the KADDB Board of Directors Mohammad Anasweh, who signed the agreement with Minister of Environment Hazem Malhas, said the deal will assist the NOU in the management of ozone depleting substances through the quantification, collection, transport and storage of unwanted CFCs resulting from the Jordan Chiller Replacement Project in an environmentally sound manner.

The agreement also seeks to monitor and accurately record the sources, quantities, storage status and usage of CFC refrigerants at specific building sites, as well as provide overall technical support to the NOU, Ghazi Odat, director of the ministry’s ozone project, said.

CFCs damage the ozone layer by reducing its ability to absorb ultraviolet rays and allowing them to penetrate the atmosphere, thus threatening life on Earth, according to environment experts.

Malhas yesterday underscored the importance of technology transfer in this field, noting that Jordan plays a major role in the region in engineering, technology and environmental engineering.

“It is vital to train more people on techniques of managing ozone-depleting substances in order to create job opportunities in environmental engineering,” he noted.