Armenia acceded to the Vienna Convention and Montreal Protocol (MP) in 1999. Targeted action on the issue began in 2000 with the development of the Country Program which was completed in 2002. In 2003 the country acceded to the London and Copenhagen Amendments assuming phase out obligations for all principle ODS including HCFCs. This also allowed the country to qualify for international assistance for CFC phase out. The country subsequently acceded to the Montreal and Beijing Amendments in 2008 making it up to date on assumption of obligations under the MP. Upon becoming a Party, the country was initially classified as a non-Article 5 country eligible to receive support from the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) but in 2002 this was changed and Armenia now operates under Article 5 of the MP and qualifies for international assistance under the MLF.
International assistance on ODS phase out began in 2000 when Armenia was considered an Article 2 CEIT with the inclusion in the GEF pipeline of a “Programme for Phasing Out Ozone Depleting Substances” including a US $ 159,000 project preparation grant that assisted in developing the Country Program Following GEF approval of the Country Program and formally meeting the GEF eligibility requirement of ratification of the London Amendment, the full scale project was approved in 2004 and implementation began in 2005, coincident with formation of a formal National Ozone Unit (NOU) in the Ministry of Nature Protection. The overall project consisted of six sub-projects that were undertaken and completed in the period 2005-2009 addressing capacity building (NOU support and customs capacity), refrigeration technician training, recovery and recycling program, awareness and incentive program, refrigerant management plan monitoring, investment in CFC-11 and CFC-12 phase out in domestic and commercial refrigeration, and CFC-11/12 phase out in consumer aerosols.
The principle focus of Armenia’s efforts in meeting its Article 5 country obligations under the Montreal Protocol to date have focused on the phase out of Annex A and B substances, particularly CFCs. More specifically this has involved sustaining the initial freeze on CFC consumption and meeting the 2005 (50%) and 2007 (85%) reduction targets leading to complete phase out January 1, 2010, which has been achieved. Through implementation of its Country Program noted above the following specific results are highlighted:
- Institutional Capacity: Beginning in 2005, Armenia has maintained an active NOU, currently consisting of three fulltime and one part time staff, within the Ministry of Nature Protection, along with national technical consultants working on refrigeration, customs, methyl bromide, and awareness issues. In addition to administering Country Program implementation, the NOU has developed and put in place a menu of regulations supporting current Annex A and B ODS phase out obligations including the establishment of a permitting (licensing) system and obtaining country ratifications of all current amendments to the MP.
- Customs Training: In association with development of the permitting system, training for of 112 customs officers has been completed and refrigerant detection equipment supplied (12 units) supplied to customs houses and border entry points.
- Refrigeration Technician Training: 712 refrigeration technicians were provided with introductory training and 2 training centers established: one in Yerevan and the other in Gyumri (Shirak Marz) with a further plan of permanent operation for hosting refrigeration technician training.
- Public Awareness: A number of awareness raising seminars and other events (round tables, exhibitions, TV programs, etc.) have been organized targeting the general public. Within the overall awareness campaign publications and video/audio materials were produced among which a poster is devoted to the 20th Anniversary of the Montreal Protocol which won the Best 20th Anniversary Related Poster Prize in 2007.
- Refrigeration Equipment Retrofit/Replacement (Awareness and Incentive Program): 35 enterprises on the food industry sector received incentives (US $ 3,000 – 15,000/enterprise) to undertake retrofit or replacement of their ODS-based (CFC -12 or R-502) equipment resulting in elimination of 5.3 ton of CFC-12 charge.
- Refrigerant Recovery/Recycling: 70 sets of portable recovery equipment and 100 manual recovery pump sets were delivered to respective number of refrigeration technicians who had the best progress in previous training. 260 refrigeration technicians were trained in good practices in refrigeration based on this equipment. 4 sets of recycling equipment were distributed to the 4 Recycling Centers located throughout the country (2 in Yerevan, 1 in Vanadzor and 1 in Artashat) to be used to recycling and clean the recovery refrigerant. 2 MAC Recovery/Recycling/Evacuation/Charging units were delivered to automotive air conditioner service centers. All equipment has capability for both CFC-12 and HCFC-22. Estimated reduction in virgin CFC consumption was estimated to be 13 tons.
- Phase out in Commercial Refrigeration Equipment Manufacturing: The use of CFC-11 in foam blowing and CFC-12 as refrigerant was eliminated at SAGA the country’s only manufacturer of refrigeration equipment. 6.5 ODP tons/year of CFC consumption was eliminated.
- Phase out of CFCs in the Manufacture of Aerosols: The Yerevan Household Chemistry Plant’s consumer aerosol production capacity was converted to use hydrocarbon propellants in its production, eliminating consumption of 14.3 ODP tons of CFCs.