HC Deb 02 September 1998 vol 317 c874W
Mr. Sayeed

To ask the Minister without Portfolio what air-conditioning units which do not emit hydrofluorocarbons were considered for use in the Dome; and if he will make a statement. [51290]

Mr. Mandelson

Despite an open and flexible tender process, only one proposal for a non-HFC cooling system for the Dome was submitted to the New Millennium Experience Company (NMEC). This proposed the use of ammonia refrigerant. However, the NMEC did consider a number of other possible cooling systems during the design process and reviewed options again following suggestions made by Greenpeace. In each case it was concluded that, given the unique nature of the Millennium Experience, the tight deadlines and fixed budget, the units that have now been selected offer the safest, most flexible solution. The chiller units for the Dome are hermetically sealed so as to give zero emissions of HFC in normal operation. Accepting that actual leakage is dependent upon maintenance protocols, detection and repair procedures, the NMEC is committed to a realistic target of less than 1 per cent. leakage during the year of the Experience's operation.