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Star International was approached by Brittany Ferries to review the refrigeration systems on the vessel Etretat. The aim was to find a solution that would comply with the planned prohibition of refrigerants with high global warming (GWP) and ozone depleting (ODP) potentials, due to take effect in January 2020 and impacting any vessels that operate in European waters.  


Some refrigeration systems on the Etretat were reliant on legacy gases that will soon be prohibited under planned F-Gas legislation designed to protect the environment from refrigerants with high ozone depletion and global warming potentials.

Historically, these gases have been widely used in the maritime sector. Ship operators can use equipment already containing legacy gases, but it is now illegal to use these gases to service or maintain refrigeration and air-conditioning systems, unless obtained as a recycled product.

Star International’s solution

Star International reviewed the existing refrigeration systems on-board, identifying those that were reliant on legacy gases. Star’s refrigeration engineers were then able to offer a solution in the form of RS-50 (R442A); a replacement drop-in gas that has been developed specifically to replace R22, R404A and R507 with little to no hardware changes required. 

Star’s team were able to complete works while the Etretat was docked in Port Le Havre, northwest France. There, the team removed legacy gases and captured them for safe disposal before re-charging the systems with RS-50. The change to RS-50 means that the Etretat’s refrigeration systems are now operating in accordance with planned legislation and will remain F-Gas compliant until at least 2030.

Furthermore, as a result of the work completed on the Etretat, Brittany Ferries has started a process of rolling out RS Series gases on its entire fleet of vessels with the help of Star International.

Planned legislation and risks to shipping operators

The phase-out of high GWP and ozone depleting gases will pose numerous risks to operators. Prices for legacy gases are on the rise and availability is also going to drop significantly as the phase out progresses. By choosing RS Series gases, operators can avoid these issues, while also future-proofing refrigeration and air conditioning systems for the next decade.

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