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Refrigerant black market in Middle East is a concern, expert says

Stuart Corr, techno commercial director of refrigerants manufacturer and supplier, Mexichem, says that the refrigerant black market in the Middle East is a major concern for the industry

Stuart Corr, techno commercial director, Mexichem.
Stuart Corr, techno commercial director, Mexichem.

Stuart Corr, techno commercial director of refrigerants manufacturer and supplier, Mexichem, says that the refrigerant black market in the Middle East is a major concern for the industry.

Talking to MEP Middle East on the subject, Corr said: "Although it is notoriously difficult to put hard figures on the problem, historically, counterfeit refrigerants have been just as large a problem in the Middle East as in the rest of the world. This was demonstrated in 2013 by the seizure of almost 3,500 cylinders of counterfeit refrigerant by Saudi Arabian authorities. Similarly, in 2011, 6,000 cylinders of dangerous toxic and flammable chemicals, labelled as refrigerants, were seized in the United Arab Emirates. 

He added: “In 2015, a survey revealed that eight out of 10 residents of the United Arab Emirates would prefer to use brand-name refrigerants in order to minimise the risks posed by counterfeits. The same survey also revealed the worry and threat posed by counterfeit refrigerants, as 73% of people are aware that counterfeit refrigerants can cause serious and costly equipment failure. Furthermore, 71% believe that refrigerants can be toxic and 67% know that they can be flammable." 

In addition, Corr said that as legislation such as the Montreal protocol continues to affect the Middle Eastern markets, some buyers may find that the cost of certain refrigerants increases. "Distributors of counterfeit refrigerants will use this as a weakness to infiltrate the market," Corr added.

Corr's complete views will appear in the 1208 issue of MEP Middle East's special report on energy-efficient HVAC systems, which will be out on the first week of August 2017.

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