The Executive Committee of the MLF in its 34th meeting held in Montreal, 2001 had approved US $2.6 million for phasing out production and remaining consumption of halons. The enterprises producing halons have dismantled their production plants. At present, there is no halon production in India. The phase-out activities of production and consumption of halons at all enterprises have been completed.
Fire Extinguishing Industry Structure
As of 1991, There was only one producer of halons having two halon plants one for producing halon-1211 and another for halon-1301. The total installed production capacity of halons was 500 MT.
There were about 200 manufacturers of firefighting equipment, of which over 85% were manufacturers of portable fire extinguishers in the country. A wide variety of fire extinguishing technologies was identified at the time of preparation of the CP such as ABC powder, aqueous systems, CO2-based and foambased systems, etc. Halons, which are potent ODS, were used only in about 5% of the fireextinguishing applications.
In 1991, the total consumption of Halons in India was 750 MT equivalents to 3,650 ODP tonne. This constituted 7.2% of India's total ODS consumption and almost 28% of the total ODP consumption. Imports accounted for 550 MT of the total, while 200 MT was indigenously produced. The growth rate in this sector was forecasted at 15% annually.
As noted earlier, the use of halons in fire-fighting constituted about 5% of the fire-fighting applications in India. There were no drop-in replacement technologies identified. The alternative technologies identified were ABC powder, inert gases, HFC-based systems, aqueous systems, CO2-based systems, fast-response sprinklers, etc. Among the priority actions identified to address the ODS phase-out in this sector were:
- Revision of national fire-extinguisher codes and standards to promote Halon alternatives
- Halon conservation programme to limit emissions
- Establishment of a Halon management programme including halon banking
The production of halons has been phased-out globally at the early stage of the Protocol because of high ODP values of halons. Moreover, there is a large quantity of halons banked in fire extinguishing equipment.
The MoEF has established National Halon Banking Facility at Centre for Fire, Explosive and Environment Safety (CFEES), Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO), Ministry of Defence, New Delhi with the financial assistance from the MLF of the Montreal Protocol. This facility has the capability to recover, recycle and store the halons for future use in the existing equipment. It is worth mentioning that all the three Defence forces have also established their own Halon Banking Facility to meet the future requirements.