Ozone-depleting substances 2014

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Courtesy of European Environment Agency (EEA)

Aggregated data reported by companies on the import, export, production, destruction, and feedstock and process agent use of ozone-depleting substances in the European Union

Background
The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone layer, which entered into force in 1989, aims to protect the stratospheric ozone layer by phasing out more than 200 substances, including chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), halons, hydrofluorocarbons (HCFCs), hydrobromofluorocarbons (HBFCs), carbon tetrachloride (CTC), trichloroethane (TCA), hydrochloromethane (BCM) and methylbromide (MB). Most known substances with significant ozone‑depleting potential (ODP) are covered by the Montreal Protocol. Within the European Union (EU), these substances, or 'controlled substances', are regulated by Regulation (EC) 1005/2009 (known as the ODS Regulation). This regulation stipulates that each company producing, importing into and/or exporting out of the EU, as well as feedstock users, process agent users and destruction facilities must annually report transactions of controlled substances.

In addition to substances controlled under the Montreal Protocol, the ODS Regulation also covers halon 1202, methyl chloride (MC), ethyl bromide (EB), trifluoroiodomethane (TFIM) and n-propyl bromide (n-PB), which are referred to as 'new substances'. Producers, importers and exporters of these substances must also report associated transactions annually.

The data reported on production, import and export is presented to parties of the Montreal Protocol, so that compliance with the protocol and progress in phasing out ozone-depleting substances (ODS) can be monitored. The EU has already achieved its phase-out goals under the Montreal Protocol, and is currently reporting mostly exempted, essential and critical uses of ODS.

This document summarises the data reported under the ODS Regulation for the year 2014, and looks at the major trends since 2006. Data submitted by companies are commercially confidential, and a number of rigorous measures have been applied to protect that confidentiality (see Section 1.6 and Annex 2).

Results are expressed in both metric tonnes and ODP tonnes (1).

Key findings
In 2014, the consumption of controlled substances was negative (2). The consumption of ODS in the EU has been negative or close to zero since 2010. This means companies in the EU have been consuming relatively small amounts of ODS controlled under the Montreal Protocol.

Imports of controlled substances
Between 2007 and 2010, imports of controlled virgin substances into the EU have declined by 53%, to 8 790 metric tonnes (2010). Since 2010, they have been relatively stable, with minor variations across years. In 2014, imports amounted to 6 843 metric tonnes, a 19% decrease over 2013. The largest imported quantities in 2014 were HCFCs (43% when expressed in metric tonnes), MB, CFCs and BCM.

Expressed in ODP tonnes, imports of virgin MB and CFCs were highest. Of the MB imports, 91% was for quarantine and pre-shipment services (to be re‑exported). Only 9% of the MB (when expressed in ODP tonnes) was placed on the European market, predominantly for feedstock use.

Controlled virgin substances were imported mainly from the United States and China.

Controlled non-virgin substances were imported into the EU to a much lesser extent than virgin substances, and these amounted to 0.9% of total imports when expressed in metric tonnes.

Exports of controlled substances
In 2014, the quantity of controlled virgin substances exported in metric tonnes (including re-export) from the EU continued to decline. The total quantity exported in 2014 (11 247 metric tonnes) was approximately 322 metric tonnes lower than in 2013, and constituted predominantly HCFCs (76% when expressed in metric tonnes), MB and CTC. When compared to 2006 data, the controlled virgin substances exported in 2014 were 85% less than in 2006 (75 747 metric tonnes).

Expressed in ODP tonnes, the total quantity exported in 2014 (2 716 ODP tonnes) was 6% higher than that exported in 2013. This is mainly due to higher 2014 exports of CTC, which has a relatively high ODP compared to the other controlled substances exported, particularly HCFCs.

In 2014, controlled substances were exported to many destinations: the largest amounts were exported to Japan, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Brazil and South Africa (in order of importance).

Similarly to imports, controlled non-virgin substances were exported out of the EU to a much lesser extent than controlled virgin substances; they amounted to 2.5% of total exports when expressed in metric tonnes.

Production of controlled substances
The production of controlled substances has been declining steadily since 2006, with a pronounced dip in production around the time of the economic crisis in 2009. In 2014, total production of controlled substances was 177 040 metric tonnes or 55 222 ODP tonnes. Production was thus slightly higher than in 2013, with a year-on-year increase of 8.2% in metric tonnes or 4.7% in ODP tonnes. Controlled substances produced in the EU were mostly HCFCs (69% of total production in metric tonnes), CTC and TCA. Increases in the production of HCFCs and CTC (up by 7% and 19% in metric tonnes, respectively) are the main reason for the increase of total production. Only minor quantities of CFCs and HBFCs, and no MB or BCM, were produced in the EU in 2014.

In 2014, controlled substances were produced almost exclusively for feedstock use inside the EU (91% of the produced quantity in metric tonnes). The remaining production was either the result of unintentional by‑production, or was intended for process agent use or for export as feedstock, foam blowing agents or refrigeration.

There has been a decline in production for some uses, e.g. refrigeration, unintentional by-production and feedstock use outside the EU — this was especially the case especially from 2006 to 2010. Production for feedstock use inside the EU, on the other hand, remained constant throughout the entire period.

Destruction of controlled substances
In 2014, a total of 9 165 metric tonnes of controlled substances was destroyed. The largest quantities destroyed were of CTC, HCFCs and CFCs (6 946, 1 102 and 1 061 metric tonnes, respectively).

Expressed in metric tonnes, destruction in 2014 was 51% higher than in 2013. This considerable difference is explained to a large extent by higher destruction of both unintentionally produced CTC and HCFCs in 2013.

Consumption of controlled substances
Consumption is an aggregated parameter that integrates virgin import, virgin export, production and destruction. Consumption results vary significantly depending on whether they are expressed in metric tonnes or ODP tonnes, because controlled substances with a high ODP (e.g. CFCs and CTC) exhibit a different trend compared to those with a low ODP (e.g. HCFCs).

In 2014, the consumption of controlled substances was negative (− 2 547 metric tonnes), but was 1 054 metric tonnes higher than in the year 2013. The exceptionally low consumption during 2013 is likely at least in part the result of unusual stockpiling of unintentionally produced CTC during 2012 and the subsequent elevated destruction activity during 2013 that resulted from it.

The consumption of controlled substances is expected to stay negative (both in metric tonnes and ODP tonnes) in the future.

Feedstock availability and use of controlled substances
Feedstock use of controlled substances increased by 7% expressed in metric tonnes in 2014, compared to 2013. In 2014, feedstock availability was approximately 978 metric tonnes lower than feedstock use in that year, i.e. a difference of − 0.6% (relative to feedstock use). Since this difference is minor, it can be assumed that all large feedstock users reported during 2014.

Emissions from feedstock uses decreased to an average emission rate of 0.12% (calculated as the ratio between total emissions and quantities used as make-up (3), expressed in metric tonnes). The fact that the drop in emissions coincides with an increase in make-up compared to 2013 seems to point towards improvements in emission control in the industry.

Process agent use
In 2014, the total make-up of controlled substances (CTC, CFC-12 and CFC-113) was lower than in 2013, due to a decrease in make-up of CTC. Nevertheless, the total make-up of controlled substances in 2014 in the EU stayed well below EU restrictions. Emissions also remained within the limit imposed for the EU, by both the Montreal Protocol and the ODS Regulation.

New substances
Production of new substances was on the increase between 2009 and 2012. Since 2013, production has been stagnating. In 2014, the production of new substances was only slightly higher than in 2013, at 1 126 402 metric tonnes (0.4% higher) or 22 843 ODP tonnes (0.2% higher), and this almost exclusively for feedstock use. In 2014, quantities of new substances imported and exported were — as in previous years — comparably small, and they have been decreasing considerably, down by 84% and 26%, respectively, when expressed in metric tonnes (relative to 2013).

In 2014, the production of new substances (expressed in metric tonnes) was almost six times higher than the production of controlled substances. However, due to the lower ODP of new substances, their production contributes approximately 29% to the combined amount of controlled and new substances produced within the EU expressed, in ODP tonnes.

Reporting process
In 2015, companies reported for reporting year 2014, which was the fifth reporting year under the ODS Regulation. It was also the fourth year since the European Environment Agency (EEA) has taken on the data management (including collection, compilation, quality control, and analysis of the companies' reports) as well as the responsibility for providing support to the reporting companies.

Since the 2012 reporting year, companies have reported their ODS transactions via a multilingual online platform, the Business Data Repository (BDR) (see https://bdr.eionet.europa.eu). The EEA provided support to reporters concerning the reporting procedure, and addressed any technical questions in English. A number of manuals and additional guidance documents were made available in all official European languages.

The reported data were subject to automated and manual quality checks, and reporters were asked to submit revised reports via the BDR, where necessary. This process was repeated until submissions passed all quality checks.

Under the ODS Regulation, all companies subject to the regulation have to report their transactions of a given year by 31 March of the following year. Potential reporters were invited to report in February 2015, and were reminded of this obligation mid-March. Invited companies considering themselves exempt from the reporting obligation of the regulation were asked to confirm these circumstances by submitting a 'Not obliged to report' (referred to as a NIL report) via the BDR.

In total, 165 companies reported ODS activities for 2014, and 91 companies submitted NIL reports.

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