Restricted refrigerant gas seized


THE Conservation and Environment Protection Authority (Cepa) has confiscated about 36 bottles of refrigerant gas R-22 from a shop in Port Moresby.
It said the gas was brought in illegally.
The authority is looking for the directors of Pacific Coast Corporation Ltd (PCCL), Jin Hui Wang, also known as Vincent Wang, and Willie Kalo. Both have not been seen by police since November last year.
According to Cepa, the refrigerant hydrochlorofluorocarbons-22 (HCFC-22) or commonly known as R-22, is an Ozone-depleting substance and its import and use in PNG was regulated under the Environment Act 2000.
“Cepa is currently administering a system requiring an Environment Permit and Prior Consent Notice for R-22 refrigerants be issued before they are imported,” Cepa said in the statement.
“And permit holders who applied to import and issued permits annually are given certain quota to import and they cannot go beyond that.
“If they go beyond, it will incur serious legal implications.”
Cepa managing director Gunther Joku said the target was to eliminate the use of R-22 in PNG by 2025 as stated under the regulated import reduction schedule and approved retailers are observing it.
According to internal investigation done by Cepa, PCCL illegally imported about 1152 cylinders of R-22 valued at K75,505 into the country in September.
“Our officers have done their own investigation by going to the shops that have sold the R-22 and enquired for the supplier which then linked them to PCCL.”
The 36 15kg bottles of R-22 refrigerant were all confiscated from a hardware store that had bought them from PCCL to resell.
Offenders will have to pay a fine of K100,000 or face imprisonment of not more than five years.