The prices of both high and low-GWP f-gases increased in 2021, according to a report produced by Öko-Recherche on behalf of the EU’s Directorate General for Climate Action. The report was forwarded to ATMOsphere (formerly shecco, publisher of this website) by a third party that declined to be identified.
Refrigerant manufacturers reported a 25% increase in asking price from Q3 to Q4 2021 for high GWP refrigerants, namely R404a, R410a and R134a. With the baseline set at 2014 levels, the price of R404a increased up to sevenfold, while R410a and R134a at least doubled the baseline price.
OEMs purchasing low-GWP alternatives reported increases from Q1 to Q4 of 2021 in the magnitude of 10% for R513a, 9% for R450a and 7% for R448a/R449a.
The Öko-Recherche report includes data from 66 companies along the whole supply chain (i.e., gas producers, gas distributors, OEMs, service sector and end-users) in 13 EU member states. The Frankfurt-based consultancy reported that these increases in f-gas prices are most likely due to the stringent phase down measures (an 18 percentage point reduction in the permitted amount of HFCs present in the EU market), Covid-19’s affecting the supply chain, a shortage of raw materials and the consequent reduction of extra-EU f-gas production.
The proposed EU F-Gas Regulation
The European Commission released the proposal for a revised EU-F Gas Regulation on April 5, 2022, proposing a cut of 98% of the HFCs allowed in the single market by 2048. This suggested cut is likely to increase the price of these fluorinated gases. Among other measures, the Commission decided to add 20-year GWP values of fluorinated refrigerants to show the short-term effect of these potent global warming gases. In addition, the proposal added bans that will favor the uptake of natural refrigerants such as CO2/carbon dioxide, hydrocarbons and NH3/ammonia across all HVAC&R sectors.