Jessica de Villiers Photo: Supplied
Cape Town – Mechanical engineer Jessica de Villiers holds the distinction of being the first female candidate to be accepted into an overseas training course that will equip her with the skills to install climate-friendly refrigeration and air-conditioning in local hospitals and clinics.

Speaking about her acceptance into the Cool Training course being hosted in Bavaria in Germany from October 7-22, the young and optimistic De Villiers said: “I’m really excited to have been selected for training in greener cooling solutions.

Currently, I work in the health sector, so we look at the heating and cooling systems within hospitals and clinics - this kind of training is vital to the kinds of projects I’m working on, which require the installation of more efficient heating, ventilation and air-conditioning equipment.”

De Villiers currently works for the Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works. Stemming from a successful bilateral relationship spanning over 20 years, the Free State of Bavaria and Western Cape government embarked on a partnership project on the “transition to climate-friendly refrigeration and air-conditioning” in 2017.

The project saw the two governments working closely to reduce emissions of harmful refrigeration chemicals to the atmosphere, in line with the 2016 Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol: Hydrofluorocarbons Phase-down.

Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning air quality management director Dr Joy Leaner said: “With rising temperatures and extreme weather patterns, the demand for refrigeration and air- conditioning has escalated.

“Our agreement with Bavaria allows us to create a platform to share knowledge and skills in introducing more climate-friendly refrigerants towards mitigating the sources that contribute to climate change.”

The industrial refrigeration and air-conditioning sector contributes to global greenhouse gas emissions, because they make use of fluorinated gases as refrigerants, she added.

The two-week training programme also includes visits to Bavarian companies showcasing the use of modern and environmentally friendly climate and cooling technologies.

Cape Times