Discurso de Kandeh K. Yumkella durante la inaguración de ecofrigo

Discurso de Kandeh K. Yumkella, Director General de la Organización de las Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo Industrial (ONUDI), durante la inauguración de la planta de reciclado de refrigeradores y aires acondicionados de Ecofrigo.


Visit to the chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) Recycling Centre ECOFRIGO

Statement by
Kandeh K. Yumkella

13 July 2010

Mr. Juan Rafael Elvira Quesada
Minister of Environment and Natural Resources

Mr. Benjamín Contreras
Vice-Minister of Energy

Mr. Mauricio Limón Aguirre
Vice-Minister of Environmental Management

Mr. Álvaro Icaza
Director of the Recovery and Recycling Centre Ecofrigo

Ms. Yolanda Valladares Valle
Director-General of the Energy Savings Trust Fund of Mexico


Special Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is my great pleasure to be here today in Mexico and in particular in Texcoco. As we all know, this year 2010 is a very special year for Mexico. Not only did your country achieve its independence 200 years ago, but it is also celebrating the centenary of the Revolution. Today´s Mexico is a modern and progressive nation, which plays a leading role not only in its region but also in the increasingly globalized world of the 21st century.

Today we are celebrating the inauguration of a recovery and recycling centre for refrigerants, which are among the most dangerous substances depleting the ozone layer. This project site is part of the national CFC phase-out plan of Mexico, which UNIDO and SEMARNAT are proudly carrying out in three successive tranches. The project began in April 2004 and will be completed at the end of this year, 2010.

As a result of the successful implementation of this phaseout plan, and thanks to the excellent and long-standing cooperation framework between SEMARNAT and UNIDO, Mexico has completely phased-out all CFCs since the year 2006. This implies that no new CFCs are entering the Mexican market, and the servicing of CFC-based refrigeration equipment does not require any additional import or local production of CFCs.

In addition, since CFCs are not only ozone-depleting, but also potent greenhouse gases with very high global warming potential (GWP), yearly emissions of over 10 million metric tons of CO2-equivalent have been avoided through the implementation of the phase out plan, thus contributing significantly to the ongoing global efforts to curb global warming. We in UNIDO are very pleased that we have been able to support the Government of Mexico, and particularly the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, in this important endeavour.

This CFC phase-out plan contains a series of investment, non-investment and technical support activities, aiming at phasing-out the remaining consumption of all CFCs in the refrigeration sector in Mexico by the end of 2010.

Next to technology, training and the building of capacities and skills to carry out those projects are key to their success. No technology will work without properly prepared and skilled staff. Therefore, UNIDO has given great importance to this part of technology transfer and management, as we do in all our projects with SEMARNAT in the area of elimination of ozone depleting substances.

Most of the staff at the Ozone Office in SEMARNAT, some of which are with us here today, can attest to the specialized training received through UNIDO, both for them and for other actors involved in the control and good management of ozone-depleting substances in Mexico. Only recently, we completed four training courses in which 38 customs officers received training on trade and customs regulations related to ozone depleting substances. In addition, 20 customs points were equipped with refrigerant identifiers to strengthen custom controls. A computer network connecting the relevant ministries and customs points was developed and established, and is now in daily use to issue export and import licenses for ozone-depleting substances and to monitor their use.

Separately, 24 training centers have been set up in Mexico, and have trained 6,500 refrigeration service technicians, again within the framework of the fruitful cooperation programme between UNIDO and SEMARNAT. Each training center has been equipped with adequate tools and equipment to carry out hands-on training in good refrigeration practices and proper handling, recovery and recycling of CFCs. As a first step, 110 trainers were trained with the responsibility to train the service technicians.

I am very pleased that UNIDO has also been able to support the donation of recovery and recycling equipment and tools for 2,100 of these refrigeration service technicians.

In addition – and this brings us nearer to today´s celebration – 14 recovery and recycling centres have been established and fully equipped throughout the country. These centres have collected 32 tonnes of refrigerant gases, thereby avoiding the emission of 80,427 tons CO2 equivalent.

This plant is one of these centres. It has a capacity for recycling 90 tons/year of CFC, HCFC and HFC refrigerants, which would save emissions of 310,000 tons of CO2 equivalent. The plant also has the technical staff and infrastructure to manage the transport, decommissioning, disposal and recycling of equipment and refrigerants. Thus, ECOFRIGO also undertakes the decommissioning of old domestic, commercial and industrial refrigerants and air conditioning equipment at the end of their useful life cycle. They are replaced by new equipment with high levels of energy efficiency.

None of this would have been possible if we had not been able to count on a partner company with a visionary leadership, which embarked with us and SEMARNAT in a private-public partnership. This has not only enabled the company to generate environmental benefits, but also to improve its processes and procedures, and hence its productivity and competitiveness. In doing so, it has never lost sight of its responsibility towards its stakeholders: its employees, the community it is working in, its customers, its owners, and also, as I noted above, the one crucial stakeholder that hardly ever has a voice: the environment. I would like to thank ECOFRIGO for its commitment, which I hope will be an example for many other Mexican companies to change the way they work – not only because this is required by the law, but also of the opportunities that those changes bring, both for the company and for society at large.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like to take this opportunity to highlight once again the excellent cooperation that UNIDO has enjoyed for many, many years with the Ministry of Environment. In particular I would like to thank Minister Elvira for his enthusiasm and dedication in the long-term bid to change the country´s industrial landscape – in close partnership with the private sector – into a more eco-friendly but at the same time more competitive one.

Finally, let me thank all of you for allowing me to be here with you today and participate in the inauguration of this centre, in the important year 2010, for Mexico and, of course, also for Texcoco.

Thank you very much.

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Discurso de Kandeh K. Yumkella durante la inaguración de ecofrigo

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