African RAC Experts Receive Training and Certification in F-Gases

Date: 15 June 2024
African RAC Experts Receive Training and Certification in F-Gases
African RAC Experts Receive Training and Certification in F-Gases
African RAC Experts Receive Training and Certification in F-Gases
Twenty Refrigeration and Air Conditioning (RAC) experts from eight African Francophone countries – Benin, Chad, Cabo Verde, Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Niger, Senegal and Togo (14 male, 6 female) successfully participated in the theory, practice training and certification session on servicing best practices and safe handling of F-Gases in refrigeration.

The training, organized by UNEP OzonAction Compliance Assistance Programme (CAP) Africa Francophone Network in collaboration with the Centro Studi Galileo and the National Ozone Unit in Benin, aimed to enhance the participants’ knowledge, skills, and attitudes by focusing on various aspects of RAC work.

Certification of technicians is critical as it will ensure that the technicians have the required competencies to work with HCFCs (hydrochlorofluorocarbons) and HCFC alternatives in an environmentally responsible manner that minimizes emissions of these refrigerants. The phasing out of HCFCs will lead to the increased adoption of low-GWP alternative refrigerants. However, most of these low-GWP refrigerants have flammability and/or toxic properties. Hence the installation, servicing and maintenance of RAC systems which use low-GWP refrigerants need to be handled by competent technicians to ensure best practices and preventive leakage of the refrigerants.

In his opening statement, Mr. Moussa Barry, Programme Management Officer, UNEP OzonAction welcomed the participants and expressed his gratitude to the Government of Benin for hosting the workshop. By providing a comprehensive training programme that combines theoretical knowledge with practical skills, this session will equip trainers to effectively educate technicians on the proper handling and servicing of F-Gas equipment. This will contribute to minimizing environmental impact and ensuring safe practices within the industry.

The workshop was officially launched by Ms. Jeanne Adanbiokou Akakpo, Chief of Staff, representing the Minister of the Environment, Transport and Sustainable Development who welcomed the participants to Benin, and thanked UNEP OzonAction and Centro Studi Galileo for their collaboration in organizing the workshop. In her opening statement, Mme Akakpo stated, “This training is a special opportunity that will allow the participants to raise the level of their skills and knowledge on various aspects of working on refrigeration and air conditioning, and safe handling of refrigerants.” She added, “From a safety perspective, with the evolution of technology, only technicians who are certified must be authorized to install, maintain, repair, recover and dismantle refrigeration and air conditioning systems.”  

The training workshop presented a varied agenda consisting of presentations, discussions, practical demonstrations, and working groups as well as interactive exercises that considered overall challenges in the region and good practices in the RAC sector. Topics covered included a broad range of issues related to the safe handling, servicing, and regulations surrounding fluorinated gases (F-gases): F-Gas Regulations; F-Gas Characteristics and Applications; Safe Handling Practices; Leak Repair and System Maintenance; F-Gas Alternatives; Environmental Impact of F-Gases; Professionalism and Ethics.

One of the highlights of the training, was the introduction of new technologies in RAC such as the use of non-flame pipe connections, particularly in refrigeration units employing flammable refrigerants.

After an intensive training session, the participants took a theory and practical exam.  Out of 20 candidates, 13 were successfully certified.

The training was facilitated by Mr. Madi Sakande and Mr. Said El Harch, from Centro Studi Galileo. The expertise and guidance provided by the trainers contributed to the success of the training, equipping the RAC instructors with essential knowledge and skills.

By successfully completing an F-gas certification programme, RAC technicians demonstrated their knowledge and skills in handling F-gases safely and responsibly. This ensures they comply with environmental regulations and contribute to minimizing the environmental impact of F-gases.

Source

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