With less than three months until hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) demonstrating a global warming potential of 2500 or more (GWP) are banned from all refrigeration systems, Aggreko says political vigilance is causing more companies to continue as they are before investing in new refrigerants. As a result it is expected they will fall victim to market fluctuations and encounter unpredictable delays regarding the changes.

The changes in January 2020 will mainly affect the use of HFC 404A and R507 in commercial and industrial refrigeration systems, and operators will not be allowed to use many F-Gases to top up or refill existing cooling systems with virgin HFC.

As UK industry continues to grapple with an uncertain economic and political climate, more companies may benefit from hiring equipment in order to remain compliant and avoid unnecessary expense before making such impactful business decisions.

As with any technical or legislative changes, there are many decisions to be made in order to ensure an effective and swift transition. This includes assessing the different options and how some might be able to realise better life cycle costs and carbon emission performance. While any planning work is being carried out, hired equipment from companies such as Aggreko can keep a site running for as long as needed with full service support and maintenance capability.

Matt Watson, Temperature Control Specialist at Aggreko said: “There are many benefits of hiring equipment when it comes to the F-Gas phase-out. For example, upgrading existing equipment or buying in a new system is likely to disrupt production while the work is carried out. Hiring equipment to operate during the downtime can ensure that processes continues as usual.

“Operators can also avoid any financing concerns by channelling capex into their core activity and avoid new system upgrade costs simply by running hired equipment for the long-term. This can be especially useful in sites that are nearing the end of their useful lifetimes.”

Aggreko is involved in a large number of projects helping companies across multiple sectors – including food and beverage, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and the steel and aluminium industries – to transition to alternative refrigerants that will future-proof their cooling systems.