The Chemours Company held a ceremony to mark production at its Opteon facility near Corpus Christi, TX. Chemours is based in Wilmington.
The $300 Million production facility will triple Chemours’ capacity of Opteon YF, a hydrofluoro olefin (HFO)-based refrigerant, now used in millions of vehicles and thousands of retail stores around the world.
When used in automotive air conditioning, Opteon YF has a Global Warming Potential (GWP) that is 99.9 percent lower than the legacy refrigerant it replaces.
Chemours and its predecessor companies have been manufacturing refrigerants in the Coastal Bend since 1972. Including the new Opteon YF production facility inaugurated at the event, where production started up in February of this year, the site now employs approximately 250 employees and 100 contractors.
“This is a historic moment for our young company, and we’re thrilled to increase our production capacity of Opteon™ to help meet our customers’ needs today and in the future,” said Mark Vergnano, Chemours CEO. “We are committed to bringing game-changing, sustainable solutions to the marketplace, including Opteon, and we’re proud to manufacture this industry-leading refrigerant right here in the United States, allowing us to create new jobs in our local community.”
In recent years, the European Union, United States, and Japan have rolled out stricter environmental standards for mobile air conditioning, commercial refrigeration and residential and commercial air conditioning.
As a result of these new regulations and changing consumer preferences, demand in the marketplace has increased for high performance, more environmentally sustainable refrigerants and blends.
Several global companies have recently selected Opteon products for residential and commercial air conditioning applications, including Carrier.
In the mobile air conditioning market, the number of cars using HFO-1234yf is expected to grow to 145 million by the end of 2020. Chemours estimates that, by the end of 2020, the use of HFO technology like Opteon YF in place of legacy refrigerants will result in the reduction of 113 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions, the equivalent of taking about 24 million cars off the road for one year.
By the year 2025, Chemours estimates that its low-GWP product line will eliminate an estimated 325 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent on a global basis.
Earlier this month, in recognition of the improved environmental profile of Opteon compared to legacy refrigerants, Chemours was presented with the American Chemistry Council’s Sustainability Leadership Award for the development of Opteon.