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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

World Bank Gives $17M To Cease ODC Output

The World Bank on Tuesday approved a $17.3 million grant to modernize the last seven factories producing all of Russia's ozone-depleting chemicals.

"The end of ODC production in Russia represents a major milestone in international efforts to eliminate substances destroying the world's stratospheric ozone layer," said Ian Johnson, World Bank vice president for environmentally and socially sustainable development.

Ceasing ODC production at the minority state-owned factories was the main requirement for the funds.

The World Bank money will be used to modernize the factories so they produce other chemicals that do not harm the atmosphere, said Vasily Rodionov, environmental specialist with the World Bank's Moscow office.

The ODCs, chlorofluorocarbons and halogens, were primarily used in aerosol cans, fire extinguishers, plastic car components and refrigerators.

The donation is the second tranche of an environmental program approved in April 2001, when the first payment of $7.41 million was released to the seven factories to begin cutting down ODC production.

Russia previously was one of the world's largest producers of ODCs.

Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Japan, Norway, Sweden, Britain and the United States contributed to the donation.

Under the 1987 Montreal Protocol, developing countries were expected to freeze emission of ODCs at 1995-97 levels for a year beginning July 1, 1999. Those countries are now expected to cut production 50 percent by 2005.

But Russia and several others countries, including China and India, have been unable to meet deadlines. Developed countries phased out ODC use almost completely in 1996.

"When these seven enterprises cease production, Russia will ... meet all international requirements," Rodionov said.

The Perm-based Halogen Chemical Plant -- which is minority owned by the Industry, Science and Technology Ministry and produces hydrogen fluoride and fluorinated compounds -- will get $4.6 million, the largest slice of the grant.

Other companies partially owned by the ministry are the Volgograd-based Khimprom and Kaustik factories, Altai republic-based Altaikhimprom, Tver region-based ROZ and St. Petersburg-based Applied Chemistry.

The Kirov region-based Kirovo-Chepetsk Chemical Combine is partially owned by the Nuclear Power Ministry.

Russia had to meet very tough conditions in order to get the second tranche of the grant, Rodionov said. "One of the most important conditions was to cease production of ODCs for finished goods and to cease exporting and importing these chemicals," he said.

Rodionov said ODC production had to be halted completely to prevent illegal trade in the chemicals, which he said was one of the main problems that developed countries were trying to fight under the Montreal initiative.

"There will be some small amounts of ODC left in order to repair old appliances, which is allowed by international agreement, but this has nothing to do with production," he said.

ODCs are still used in some Soviet-era refrigerators and automobile air conditioners.