UpdateHoneywell is confident about EU car refrigerant probe

16 December 2011 22:37  [Source: ICIS news]

(updates with comments from Honeywell)

LONDON (ICIS)--Honeywell is confident that it did not breach any laws in its cooperation with DuPont on a new refrigerant for automotive car systems, a spokesman for the US-based diversified industrial and technology group said on Friday.

The company was reacting to an announcement by the European Commission earlier on Friday to open antitrust proceedings to investigate agreements between DuPont and Honeywell for the development of a new refrigerant for air conditioning systems in cars.

The Commission's probe comes after French chemicals producers Arkema filed a complaint with the Commission against DuPont and Honeywell on 1 April.

"Honeywell is confident that our practices are consistent with the law and that the Commission will conclude that we acted in full compliance with EU competition rules," spokesman
Peter Dalpe told ICIS.

Honeywell is committed to fully cooperating with the Commission, and to helping the agency to close the proceedings as quickly as possible, Dalpe said.

DuPont spokeswoman Janet Smith also told ICIS the company would cooperate "fully with this inquiry and is confident that the Commission will conclude that actions taken by DuPont complied with applicable laws".

Smith added that DuPont and Honeywell developed HFO-1234yf jointly in response to a 2006 EU directive requiring that all new vehicle types sold in the EU must be equipped with low global warming potential refrigerants as of 1 January 2011.

"HFO-1234yf is a major scientific breakthrough because it has a 99.7% lower global warming potential than the most commonly used automotive refrigerant today," she said.

Arkema on Friday welcomed the decision by the European Commission to investigate its US-based competitors Honeywell and DuPont over the new refrigerant.

“As a major player of fluorine industry, Arkema is looking forward to the conclusion of the investigation since it has conducted during several years intensive research efforts in this area and is ready to invest in an efficient production unit as soon as the legal environment will allow it,“ Arkema said in a statement.

The Commission is investigating complaints alleging that Honeywell and DuPont have entered into anti-competitive arrangements as regards the development of the new generation of refrigerants, it said in a statement.

Specifically, the Commission will investigate whether joint development, licensing and production arrangements entered into between the two companies may restrict competition in markets, it said.

Honeywell and DuPont last year agreed a joint venture to produce the new refrigerant for use in automotive air conditioning systems. At the time, they said the new product had significantly lower “global warming potential” than an existing alternative product, hydrofluorocarbon HFC-134a.

For more on Arkema, DuPont and other producers visit ICIS company intelligence

By: Stefan Baumgarten
+1 713 525 2653

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

For the latest chemical news, data and analysis that directly impacts your business sign up for a free trial to ICIS news - the breaking online news service for the global chemical industry.

Get the facts and analysis behind the headlines from our market leading weekly magazine: sign up to a free trial to ICIS Chemical Business.

Printer Friendly

Get access to breaking chemical news as it happens.
ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX)
ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX). Download the free tabular data and a chart of the historical index