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Launch Of Course On Chiller Refrigerant Handling

15 Sep 2021

-       A Certification Requirement In Line With Mitigation Measures To Reduce Singapore’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions

From October 2022 onwards, companies that carry out the installation, maintenance or decommissioning of water-cooled chillers will be required to employ at least one certified chiller technician to carry out or supervise water-cooled chiller servicing jobs that involve refrigerant handling.


Singapore, 15 September 2021 – Minister of State for Sustainability and the Environment, Mr Desmond Tan launched Singapore’s first course on chiller refrigerant handling at Temasek Polytechnic (TP) today. The course, a collaboration between the National Environment Agency (NEA) and TP, is intended to equip chiller technicians in the refrigeration and air-conditioning (RAC) industry with essential knowledge and skills to handle refrigerants correctly during the installation, maintenance, and decommissioning works on water-cooled chillers. The course supports the aim of the Environmental Protection and Management (Amendment) Bill, which was passed in Parliament on 13 September 2021.

2          The Environmental Protection and Management (Amendment) Bill is aimed at reducing Singapore’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions arising from hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) gases in the RAC sector. HFC gases are commonly used as refrigerants in RAC equipment. These gases are sometimes vented to the atmosphere during the installation, maintenance and decommissioning of such equipment. In the atmosphere, HFCs are much more potent greenhouse gases than carbon dioxide and contribute significantly to global warming. For example, the typical refrigerant used in chillers, R134a, has a global warming potential (GWP [1]) of 1,300. In comparison, carbon dioxide has a GWP of 1.

3          From October 2022 onwards, companies that install, maintain or decommission water-cooled chillers will be required to employ at least one certified chiller technician when any work on a water-cooled chiller involves refrigerant handling.

4          Mr Ram Bhaskar, NEA’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer (Environmental Protection) and Director-General of Environmental Protection, said, “TP’s and our industry partners' contributions have been invaluable in planning and designing this course for chiller technicians. The course will raise the industry’s competency in handling HFC refrigerants and contribute to Singapore's efforts in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions.  The programme is an important measure to help Singapore achieve its commitment under the Paris Agreement to peak emissions at 65 MtCO2e around 2030.”

5          For TP, as front runners in sustainability, this course forms part of its mission to uplift the RAC industry, especially in relation to sustainability and climate change mitigation. “In TP’s School of Engineering, our vision is for our students to embrace sustainability and contribute towards the betterment of our community, with the knowledge and skills gained. This course is an excellent example of how, equipped with the right training, chiller technicians can help elevate the RAC industry, in relation to sustainability and climate change mitigation”, said Mr Wong Kia Ngee, Senior Director/School of Engineering & Special Projects, Temasek Polytechnic.

About the Course

6          Targeted at chiller technicians, this two-day certification course in Chiller Refrigerant Handling covers both theory and practical hands-on lessons on refrigerant handling during the installation, maintenance and decommissioning of water-cooled chillers, with a focus on minimising refrigerant leakage so as to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The course was put together in consultation with industry stakeholders such as VEMAC Services Pte Ltd (part of A-Gas), who has been supportive of this initiative.

7          The course will be conducted jointly by TP lecturers and industry experts who are experienced in refrigerant handling. It will be conducted in TP’s new Integrative Built Environment Centre (IBEC), which is equipped with state-of-the-art, smart building technology. Specifically, IBEC houses a ‘live’ chiller system that cools the Centre and doubles as key training equipment. Chiller technicians must meet at least 75 per cent attendance and pass an assessment test in order to be certified.

8          The first run of the course starts on 14 September 2021. Subsequently, courses will be run twice per month, subject to take-up rates. Each run of the course will be limited to  15 technicians. Technicians with at least three years of work experience in the RAC servicing industry can apply for the course. The course fee is $700 (before GST) and grants are available to subsidise up to 90 per cent of the course fees for Singaporeans and Permanent Residents. Participants can also use their SkillsFuture Credit for the course.

9          Further information on the course can be obtained at: and register for the course via

10        There are approximately 350 companies servicing chillers and 900 chiller technicians in Singapore. Companies that carry out chiller servicing work are encouraged to send their technicians for the course early to ensure that they meet the requirements set out by the Environmental Protection and Management (Amendment) Bill by October 2022.

[1] Global warming potential (GWP) is a measure of the warming effect of a gas relative to the warming effect of an equivalent mass of carbon dioxide (CO2), usually over a 100-year time horizon.

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