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Saturday, July 21, 2012

FM-200 News - What is the future of FM-200


What is the future of FM200

FM200 News Bulletin
The fire suppression industry is about to face a crisis of epic proportion.
The events that unfold over the next few months may change the dynamics of the industry forever.

The manufacturers of FM200 have announced that there is a shortage of the product. We have also been advised that there is a significant price increase on the product. We believe that the price of FM200 increased by up to 150% possibly making it the most expensive synthetic fire suppression agent on the market.

FM200 sustainability
Since the release of the Kyoto protocols, a question has surrounded the sustainability of HFC gases for use within the fire protection industry.

Unlike the Montreal protocol which set about a ban of Halon 1301 and Halon 1211 (BCF), the Kyoto protocol excluded HFC gases for use within the fire suppression industry.  This ruling was based on the position at the time as there was no synthetic alternatives to Halon 1301/1211 other than HFC227, HFC125, FE36 and FE13 etc, all of which are global warming gases.

Fire Suppression Solutions
Fire Suppression Limited has an alternative to HFC gases called Novec1230.  This agent has a negligible global warming impact. It's atmosphere lifetime is only five days and it has a global warming potential (GWP) of 1.  By comparison FM200 has a GWP of 3500 and Halon had a GWP of 6400.  In layman’s terms this means that 3500kg’s of Novec will have the same global warming impact as 1 kg’s of FM200 and 6400kg’s of Halon 1301. 

Novec1230 has Zero ozone depletion potential (ODP), unlike like Halon 1301, therefore it falls outside both the Kyoto and Montreal protocols.

3M (the OEM) introduced Novec 1230 into the market some 9 years ago.  This product has always been considered a premium product due to its environmentally friendly properties. Fire Suppression Limited has always endorsed and embraced this product and has supplied it to some of the largest companies within the United Kingdom and Europe. The product is supported by the 3M’s blue Sky warranty :- 

3M™ Novec™ 1230 Blue Sky Warranty
’ 3M™ Novec™ 1230 Fire Protection Fluid doesn't just put out fires. With the new 3M™ Blue SkySM Warranty, it also puts your mind at ease. If 3M™ Novec™ 1230 Fire Protection Fluid is banned from or restricted in use as a fire protection agent due to ODP, or GWP, 3M will refund the purchase price of the Novec 1230 fluid. That's a promise and performance you can take to the bank’

Environmental Issues
Growing pressure has been placed on the fire suppression industry to consider alternatives to FM200/HFC125/FE36 and FE13 on the basis that there are alternatives to HFC gases.  This pressure has been growing outside the industry too with some of the largest companies ruling out the use of HFC products within their facilities.

This latest development regards the shortage and pricing of the HFC227ea
(FM200) and other HFC gases will change the dynamics of our industry and raises the following questions:-

·         Why use a fire suppression agent that may be restricted for the use of fire suppression in time to come?

·         Why use an agent that is not good for our environment?

·         Why pay a premium for a product that could be restricted with such a high GWP?

·         Will there be sufficient stocks to sustain industry demand for both new systems and refills


The Future
Since the ban of Halon 1301, FM200 has been the market leading synthetic fire suppression agent due to its lower price.  We believe that this ethos has made FM200 the most popular synthetic fire suppression medium over recent years.  Due to the latest developments and the new price hikes this will certainly make FM200 unpopular and we expect that this may have a further impact on price and availability of the product in the future!

Currently the fire protection industry is struggling to provide prices and availability on FM200.  Prices have already gone up and there is uncertainty as to what the position will be in the future. 

Care of Duty
Fire Suppression Limited exercises it’s duty of care and advises it's customers that there will be an imminent/immediate shortage of FM200.  All existing quotations for FM200 will no longer be valid, however FSL advise that we do have an alternative and a solution to this problem.

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