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Halon Management: Banking for the Future
INTERNATIONAL RECYCLED HALON BANK MANAGEMENT INFORMATION CLEARINGHOUSE
UNEP IE/PAC UNITED NATIONS ENVIRONMENT PROGRAMME INDUSTRY AND ENVIRONMENT PROGRAMME ACTIVITY CENTRE
Halon Management: Banking for the Future Contents Foreword
What is Halon Banking?
How to Obtain Halon
What are Essential Uses?
How the UNEP IE/PAC Clearinghouse can help
Whom to Contact
Your Questions Answered
Foreword The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, an historic achievement in global legislation, originally foresaw only a cap on the production and consumption of halon in 1992. Halons were considered so important for fire safety that their exclusion from more stringent measures seemed justified. However, the accelerated depletion of the ozone layer and awareness of the damage caused by bromine has now led to a complete phase-out of the production of halons by 1 January 1994 (with the exception of Article 5 countries, which have a 10-year grace period). The main reason for this is to promote the use of recycled halons in order to prevent new production of halons in developed countries. For some existing installations halon replacements are not available, and the use of existing halons from non-essential systems and those which have been closed down is advised. Halon banking, as this process is called, will be given international assistance. This should give countries, particularly developing ones, confidence that they will be able to obtain halons for their critical needs from such banks. The purpose of this information kit is to provide basic information on the status of halon banking in different countries and to describe procedures by which countries can obtain information on the availability of surplus halons.
Introduction series of The ozone layer forms a thin shield in the stratosphere, UV radiation halon 1211 reactions CBrClF2 protecting all life on Earth from the Sun’s harmful ultraviolet bromine radiation. Chlorofluoro- and bromofluorocarbons are the monoxide main cause of the alarming rate of destruction of the ozone layer. Halons 1211, 1301 and 2402, which are fully halogenated chemicals that have relatively long lifetimes in the bromine ozone radical atmosphere, are broken down in the stratosphere releasing (O3) reactive bromine that is extremely damaging to ozone: 10–100 CClF2 times more so than chlorine. Of the total bromine in the atmosphere, approximately 15–20 parts per trillion, about 5 parts derive from halons, the remainder coming from methyl bromide. While methyl bromide has both natural and anthropogenic sources, halons have only anthropogenic origin. Reactions involving bromine are estimated to be responsible for 25 per cent of the chemical destruction of ozone over Antarctica and 50 per cent over the Arctic. The ozone depleting potential of halons is 3–10 times greater than that of CFCs.
free bromine radical
oxygen molecule (O2)
The background to the phase-out
The 1992 Meeting of the Parties in Copenhagen decided to phase out consumption and production of halons in developed countries by 1 January 1994. Parties operating under Article 5 of the Protocol have a 10-year grace period where production for basic domestic needs is still allowed. In addition, Parties can ask for an exemption on production and consumption for ‘essential’ uses under certain conditions. At the same meeting, the Parties decided to allow unrestricted trade of recycled halons provided that the relevant data are reported to UNEP under the procedures of the Protocol. These decisions make an orderly transition to fire protection without halons possible. Existing valuable or critical installations can be protected by halons until other arrangements have been made. In addition, the decisions allow time for alternative means of protection to be developed for installations where other extinguishing systems are not adequate.
Importance of halon banks These decisions have made it important to plan for the recycling and reuse of halons. This will: • facilitate the transfer of available halon from one user to satisfy the needs of another; • discourage emissions to the atmosphere; and • mitigate the need for consumption and production exemptions for ‘essential uses’. If the ‘global bank’—at the moment just an idea—can be made productive it will mean that halon 1301 will be available for several decades and halon 1211 for at least 10 years. International cooperation is needed to ensure that one nation’s surplus halon is exported to meet the needs of another nation. This is especially true for developing nations which have only minimal internal banks due to their restricted number of installations.
International trade in recycled halon At their 1992 Meeting in Copenhagen, the Parties also decided to allow international trade in recycled halons. The Protocol was amended to ‘Not take into account for calculating consumption, the import and export of recycled and used controlled substances (...) provided that data on such imports and exports are subject to reporting under Article 7’. With this decision, the Parties opened the way to international halon bank management. The Parties were concerned about potential barriers of trade for recycled halons. Undue restrictions might lead to venting in one country or dependence on newly produced halon in another.
The role of UNEP IE/PAC The Industry and Environment Programme Activity Centre of the United Nations Environment Programme (IE/PAC) in Paris was appointed by the Parties as a clearinghouse for information relevant to halon bank management and international trade in recycled halons. It will also provide information about and coordinate its activities with the designated organization of the Multilateral Fund. IE/PAC sees its role as a broker for all information related to the effective management of halons-alternative approaches to fire protection. It will establish the databases needed to provide this information to interested parties.
What is Halon Banking? Halon banks at national level The quantities of halons banked in existing containers, portable fire extinguishers and mobile units is far greater than the quantities produced every year. This existing stock of halons becomes slowly available for recycling and reuse as installations are closed down or alternative fire protection measures are introduced. The halon bank is therefore a valuable asset and it seems prudent to manage it at national level. Bank management consists of keeping track of halon quantities at each stage: initial filling, installation, recovery, recycling and recharging (see diagram below).
obsolete or returned for servicing
to recovery depot
reuse in extinguishing systems
storage of non– recyclable halon
Banks and clearinghouses Halon banks take different forms in different countries. Most are not physical ‘banks’ with warehouses and storage tanks, but are inventories with a list of halon users who no longer require their extinguishing agents and of users who still require halons but do not have (or will not have in the future) sufficient stock. Halon bank management provides a method of matching the two. Some of the halon banks purchase halons, reclaim it and have it ready for resale. Others keep a detailed inventory of stocks available at owners’ premises and only a small amount is recycled and ready for reuse. This activity resembles an information clearinghouse. Such banks trade information on the availability of halons and leave the process of sale and purchase to the individuals concerned. Some halon banks require membership to participate in the trade. It is therefore wise to investigate early the conditions under which a bank will conduct business with a potential buyer. There is obviously no universal template for halon banks. This is primarily because the key element of the banking process is the reversal of the original supply and distribution process which varied from country to country. However, it is possible to specify the key elements needed in each country.
How to Obtain Halon Inquiring in your own country
system closed down: halon supply becomes available for recycling
A network of halon users helps to keep track of halon supplies as they become available for recycling; better still, a halon bank will tell you exactly where to obtain the halon you need.
One recommended way to ensure supply is to set up a network of halon users in your own country. Even in countries with only few existing installations, systems are closed down at some point and their halon will become available for recycling. In addition, some owners keep reserve stock for their systems. To ensure ongoing protection you may wish to establish a halon users network that will enable users to rely on one another in emergency. If a national halon bank already exists, you should inquire there first. Even if it has no surplus halon available, it may be able to tell you in which country halon may be available.
halon banks able to advise on location of halon supplies as they become available
The international way: a step-by-step approach
Obtain information on availability IE/PAC will provide a regularly updated list of available halon registered at its office. This will indicate where to ask. You can also contact halon banks directly using their addresses and numbers in this information kit.
Contact a halon bank Call or fax the halon bank you selected and put in a detailed request, including the amount and type of halon wanted. Ask for the bank’s conditions for the sale of halon and for the information they will need to grant exports. Prepare an essential use document A document demonstrating the essentiality of the intended use may have to be provided by the applicant.
L AT E RAL
Obtain a list from IE/PAC IE/PAC will provide a regularly updated list of implemented and working halon banks with contact addresses, phone and fax numbers and, if available, the requirements for exports.
FU D N
Finalize the terms of the transaction Prepare a document containing the terms of the transaction between the client and the halon bank.
Prepare an application to the Multilateral Fund Depending on the situation, the incremental cost to Article 5 countries of buying recycled halon rather than producing it could be paid for by the Multilateral Fund on a case-by-case basis.
What are Essential Uses? Essential use criteria In decision IV/26 of the Copenhagen Meeting the Parties called upon each other to apply the essential use criteria of the Halons Technical Options Committee when deciding on the import and use of recycled halons. This Committee stated that, before concluding that an installation is an essential halon use, the following criteria should be satisfied:
A critical need must exist to minimize damage due to fire, explosions or extinguishing agent application, which would otherwise result in serious impairment of an essential service to society, or pose an unacceptable threat to life, the environment, or national security … and … All other appropriate fire protection measures have been taken.
The purpose of these criteria is to minimize the use of halons in non-essential applications and to ensure that enough halon will be available for applications considered truly essential.
How to apply for an essential use The following points may help you prepare a document which provides enough information for a review of essentiality of the intended halon use. The list should also help determine whether an applicant has undertaken all necessary steps to minimize the use of halon.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
provide details of the type and quantity of halon required;
provide a detailed description of the use;
explain why this use is necessary for health, safety or is critical for the functioning of society;
explain what other appropriate fire protection measures have been taken; for new installations explain what alternative fire protection technologies were investigated and why they were not considered adequate; state whether the use of halons is required by international regulations for a certain application; and document the efforts that were made to transfer halon for the requested applications from other sources within your country.
Certain countries may not require information in exactly this form but some of these questions will certainly be asked by all banks or countries. The format for the application, and deadlines for submission, should be obtained from UNEP’s Ozone Secretariat in Nairobi.
How the UNEP IE/PAC Clearinghouse can Help Information available The following information is available from UNEP IE/PAC in written form. It will be regularly updated. • A list of national halon banks with contact addresses, phone and fax numbers and (if available) the principles that govern each bank’s policy on the sale of halon. • Descriptions of existing halon banks and case studies on how to establish a national banking system. • References for standards on recycled halons. • Contact addresses of fire protection associations that are active in developing alternative means of fire protection and fire hazard minimization; a list of references on guidelines to new fire protection technologies can also be provided. • Case studies on halon replacement efforts collected by IE/PAC (in preparation).
For further information, contact the following: UNEP IE/PAC Mrs Jacqueline Aloisi de Larderel 39–43 quai André Citroën 75739 Paris Cedex 15, France Telephone: (33 1) 44 37 14 50 Fax: (33 1) 44 37 14 74
OZONE SECRETARIAT Mr K. M. Sarma UNEP, PO Box 30552, Nairobi, Kenya Telephone: (254 2) 62 1234 Fax: (254 2) 521 930
MULTILATERAL FUND Dr Omar El Arini 27th Floor, Montreal Trust Building 1800 McGill College, Avenue Montréal Québec, Canada H3A 3J6 Telephone: (1 514) 282 1122 Fax: (1 514) 282 0068
Contacts for National Halon Banking Activities The persons on this list can provide you with information concerning their country’s halon banking activities or plans. Please note that functioning recycled halon banks do not yet exist in every country on this list. AUSTRALIA Name: DASCEM Halon Bank Description: A national halon bank organization that manages the collection, storage and destruction of Australia’s halon stock, and maintains and manages the national stock of halon for approved uses into the 21st century. For more information contact: Mr Brent Davey, Technical Director, DAS Centre for Environmental Management (DASCEM), National Halon Bank, GPO 250B, Melbourne, Victoria 3001, Australia Tel: (61) 008 658 084 Fax: (61 3) 649 4895 CANADA Name: Halons Round Table Description: A voluntary forum working towards the development of strategies for the management of halons in Canada. For more information contact: Mr Reg White, Chief Engineer, Underwriters’ Laboratories of Canada, 7 Crouse Road, Scarborough, Ontario M1R 3A9, Canada Tel: (1 416) 757 3611 Fax: (1 416) 757 1781 DENMARK Name: Danish Halon Bank (DHB) Description: An independent company with shareholders from industry, insurance and fire equipment manufacturers, with financal support provided by the Danish Government. For more information contact: Mr Erik Pedersen, Director, Fire Protection Department, Danish Institute of Fire Technology, Datavej 48, DK–3460 Birkerod, Denmark Tel: (45) 45 82 00 99 Fax: (45) 45 82 24 99 FRANCE Name: Comité Technique Français Halons Environnement (CTFHE) Description: A committee composed of representatives from the Environment Ministry, halon manufacturers, an agreed national laboratory, fire equipment manufacturers’ association, the appropriate technical division of the insurer’s association, large users and three user trade associations. The goal of CTFHE is to provide information for all concerned users, to ensure compliance with the Montreal Protocol and other regulations, and halon banking. For more information contact: Mr Hervé Bineau, Comité Technique Français Halons Environnement (CTFHE), Secrétariat: CNPP, 5, rue Daunou, 75002 Paris, France Tel: (33 1) 42 61 57 61 Fax: (33 1) 49 27 09 43
INDIA Name: National Task Force on Halons Description: National organization established to study halon phase out and to suggest options. For more information contact: Mr H. S. Kaprwan, Deputy Director, Defence Institute of Fire Research, Ministry of Defence, Probyn Road, Timapur, Delhi - 110054, India Tel: (91 11) 23 32 25 Fax: (91 11) 23 32 39 JAPAN Name: Halon Recycling and Banking Support, Japan Description: An independent, non-profit organization comprised of representatives of fire equipment manufacturers and major users/organizations of halon systems. For more information contact: Mr Takaaki Konno, Japan Fire Extinguishing System Manufacturers’ Association, 5-3-14 Sotokanda, Chiyoda-Ku, Tokyo 101, Japan Tel: (81 3) 3836 4598 or (81 3) 3832 2402 Fax: (81 3) 3836 3353 MALAYSIA Name: (Not applicable) Description: Authority who controls the installation of fire service protection systems in the country and which has been given the mandate to manage collection, storage and destruction of halons as well as to monitor halon bank management in the country. For more information contact: Fire Service Department, Jalan Maharaja Lela, 50596 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Tel: (60 3) 248 6362 Fax: (60 3) 242 0773 THE NETHERLANDS Name: Halon bank scheme Description: No information available For more information contact: Mr Robert C. Basart, Coöperatieve vereniging Halonen, U.A., Varrolaan 100, PO Box 8138, 3503 RC Utrecht, The Netherlands Tel: (31 30) 588 688 Fax: (31 30) 588 600 RUSSIAN REPUBLIC Name: Halon bank scheme (under development) Description: The State Institute of Applied Chemistry in St Petersburg and the Interagency Commission for the Protection of the Ozone Layer are developing a national halon bank programme. For more information contact: Dr Nikolai P. Kopylov, All-Russian Research Institute for Fire Protection, 143900 Moscow Region, Balashiha 6, Russian Republic Tel: (7 095) 253 94 84 Fax: (7 095) 521 26 22
SWEDEN Name: (Not applicable) Description: There will be no centralized halon bank in Sweden. The military will maintain a bank for its own needs. Some companies will arrange a bank operation for their customers. For more information contact: Ms Kristina Lindgren, CFC Secretariat, Swedish Environmental Agency, S-171 85 SOLNA, Sweden Tel: (46 8) 799 1157 Fax: (46 8) 799 1253 SWITZERLAND Name: Swiss Halon Banking System Description: The Federal Office of Environment Protection and the Fire Equipment Manufacturers’ Association are cooperating on a clearinghouse which provides fire equipment manufacturers with information on available surplus and reclaimed halon-1301. For more information contact: Dr Walter Brunner, ENVICO, Forchstrasse 59, CH-8032 Zürich, Switzerland Tel: (41 1) 381 20 60 Fax: (41 1) 381 20 68 UNITED KINGDOM Name: Halon Users’ National Consortium (HUNC) Description: A limited company formed by halon users and the fire industry, with the support of the Government. HUNC acts as a clearinghouse for sales of used halons, provides lists of companies which will recycle used halons to specification, advises on the safe handling and disposal of halons and acts as a link between UK users and halon banks in other countries. For more information contact: Mr Ken Simpson, The Halon Users National Consortium Limited, 46 Bridge Street, Godalming, Surrey GU7 1HL, United Kingdom Tel: (44 483) 414147 Fax: (44 483) 414109 USA Name: Halon Recycling Corporation(HRC) Description: A voluntary, non-profit trade association formed to assist users of halons to inventory and re-deploy the existing bank of halon-1301. HRC will act as a broker for sales of halon-1301, provide guidelines and procedures for self-determination of essential halon use, provide a list of companies that recycle halon to standard, act as the link between halon users in the U.S. and halon banks in other countries, etc. For more information contact: Mr Tom Cortina, Executive Director, Halon Alternatives Research Corporation, 1025 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 712, Washington D.C. 20036, USA Tel: (1 202) 223 6166 Fax: (1 202) 223 5979
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Your Questions Answered What is a ‘halon bank’?
What information is necessary to obtain halons?
Halon banks come in different forms. Most are not physical ‘banks’ with warehouses but are inventories with a list of halon users who no longer require their extinguishing agents and of users who still require halons but do not have (or will not have in the future) sufficient stock. The halon bank provides a method of matching the two. Some halon banks require membership to participate in the trade, some are mere clearinghouses that trade only information and leave the process of sale and purchase to the individuals concerned.
This depends on the policy of the different countries and halon banks. Some may ask for information about the essentiality of your intended use; others may ask a full list of question to establish that halons are intended for a use in a critical application. You should also be prepared to answer questions about the means of transport and how the transfer of payments will be made.
Is there an international halon bank? There is not yet an international halon bank. However, UNEP IE/PAC acts as an international clearinghouse to provide information on national banks and the availability of surplus halons. All contacts between potential buyers and sellers have to be made directly between the parties involved.
Do halons belong to governments? Halons belong both to government organizations and private companies. Depending on the situation in each country, governments, especially military services, may be the biggest user of halons. In general, governments do not have a monopoly on trade or export of halons; in many cases governments are not involved at all in the trade of halons, but may regulate it to some degree.
What is the function of the UNEP clearinghouse for international bank management? UNEP IE/PAC will act as a source of information for all questions related to international halon bank management and trade of halons. It will also have available information on new developments in alternative fire protection technologies and new extinguishing agents, and contact addresses for manufacturers and regulating agencies. In addition, UNEP IE/PAC maintains a list of case studies of halon phase-out in different areas of application (under preparation)
Can I get halon from UNEP IE/PAC? No. UNEP IE/PAC does not own any halon nor does it make direct contacts for providing halons. However, you will get information from IE/PAC that will help you find out where surplus halon is available.
How can I find out about existing halon banks and contact information? Check this information kit for the addresses of existing banks or contact UNEP IE/PAC via fax, phone or letter and ask for their latest list of operating banks.
How can I find out about the availability of surplus halon? Contact UNEP IE/PAC via fax, phone or letter and ask for its list of registered stocks available at national halon banks. You can also contact any of the halon banks listed in this information kit and inquire about their stock.
Does one have to prove essentiality before obtaining halon?
Each halon bank may have a different policy about using the essentiality criteria. It will therefore depend on the individual bank or on the country from which you ask for halons. Essentiality is not a required prerequisite for international trade, but its use is recommended by the Parties of the Protocol.
Who decides on the terms and conditions for the purchase of halons?
It will normally be up to the seller and buyer to establish his terms of trade. Halon banks are expected to publish their terms and conditions and to make them available at your request.
How can one ensure that the halons are of good quality?
The best way to ensure quality is to ask for certification of the material according to the appropriate technical standard such as ISO 7201 or ASTM ES24-93 (originally intended for newly produced halons). Efforts are under way to develop other suitable standards for recycled halons.
Where can standards be obtained?
ISO and ASTM standards can be obtained from national standards organizations or from: International Standards Organization Case postale 56 CH 1211 Genève 20, Switzerland Tel: (41 22) 749 0111 Fax: (41 22) 733 3430 or
American Society for Testing and Materials 1916 Race Street Philadelphia PA 19103, USA Tel: (1 215) 299 5400 Fax: (1 215) 977 9679
How can a halon bank be established?
Halon banks exist in many different forms. Case studies around the world suggest that the process has to be initiated by bringing the key players together to discuss the issue. The key players will be different in each country, depending on the organization of the fire protection industry. Case studies on different national schemes are available from UNEP IE/PAC. The support offered in preparing country programmes can also be extended to provide help in establishing a national halon bank.