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SOUTH AFRICA: Durban Landfill Gas to Generate Power, Cool the Climate
Source: Copyright 2004, Environment News Service
Date: June 16, 2004
DURBAN, South Africa, June 16, 2004 (ENS) - The Durban metropolitan municipality and the World Bank have signed South Africa's first carbon emission reductions purchase agreement for a landfill gas to energy project under the World Bank's Prototype Carbon Fund.
The signing ceremony took place on Friday in Cologne, Germany at the first Carbon Expo, a trade fair event for the global carbon market.
The Prototype Carbon Fund will purchase 3.8 million tons of greenhouse gas emission reductions from the project at a price of US$3.75 per ton of carbon dioxide equivalent.
The project consists of an enhanced collection of landfill gas at three landfill sites and the use of this landfill gas to produce electricity, replacing electricity the municipality now is buying from other suppliers.
The project has two components - Component One, covering the Mariannhill and La Mercy landfills, will generate 700,000 tons of emission reductions. Component Two, the Bisasar Road Landfill, will generate 3.1 million tons of emission reductions.
Component One, where an environmental impact assessment process is near completion, is expected to become operational this year. Component Two is expected to be fully commissioned next year, pending clearance of the social and environmental impact assessments being undertaken in parallel by the Province of KwaZulu-Natal and the World Bank.
The project is intended for the Clean Development Mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol, the 1997 international agreement to limit the emissions of climate altering greenhouse gases.
The Clean Development Mechanism allows industrialized countries and companies with greenhouse gas reduction commitments, to purchase some of their required reductions in developing countries.
"I think this is a first for the whole African continent, a project of this magnitude, dealing with waste," said Durban Mayor Obed Mlaba. "I think the example we are setting in Durban, working with the World Bank to deal with landfill, is a huge innovation - we are turning dirt and garbage into a raw material that we could grow wealth from.
"If you wanted to say to yourself, 'we want to be the cleanest city in the world,' waste, in my view, is the best place to start," the mayor said.
Greenhouse gases targeted by the project are methane and carbon dioxide. The project increases the capture of landfill gas, which is about 50 percent methane. It would otherwise be released into the atmosphere.
Electricity generated from landfill gas will displace coal generated electricity from the grid, reducing overall carbon dioxide emissions.
"This project is indicative of the potential of landfill gas to energy projects throughout the developing world," said Ken Newcombe, World Bank fund manager for the Prototype Carbon Fund.
"A carbon market intelligence study just released by the World Bank shows that one-sixth of all the carbon finance projects involve landfill gas," said Newcombe. "This demonstrates that carbon finance has the potential to revolutionize waste management in developing countries."
"This project will kick-start South Africa's contribution to combating climate change, says project director Lindsay Strachan, senior engineer for Unicity Landfills.
"It builds the stadium' for South Africa's renewable energy goals and directly serves the strategic needs of the community," Strachan said.
The project will be implemented by the Department of Cleansing and Solid Waste (DSW) which is the municipal solid waste department of eThekwini Municipality, the wider Durban metropolitan municipality.
The electricity produced from the landfill gas will be sold to the municipal electricity department, eThekwini Electricity. An interdepartmental power purchase agreement has been undertaken between DSW and eThekwini Electricity with no technical hurdles identified. eThekwini Electricity purchases its electricity primarily from Eskom, the national electricity utility company.
An additional 20 cents per ton of carbon dioxide equivalent will be paid for additional social benefits aimed at poverty reduction and addressing the needs of poor and disadvantaged people in Durban. These payments, from a US$760,000 social benefits fund, are conditional upon approval of the design and implementation of the social implementation plan by the World Bank and the commissioning of Component Two of the project.
The social benefits trust fund payments will be spent in accordance with annual work programs approved by the trust's administrators or trustees and the World Bank as trustee for the Prototype Carbon Fund.
Eligible work programs include waste management and recycling programs that benefit poorer residents; or vocational training, education and skill enhancement for poorer residents of the eThekwini Municipality;
Waste management or educational activities that lead to job creation in the eThekwini Municipality and that prevent and minimize waste and maximize re-use, recycling and the use of environmentally friendly materials are also eligible.
Work program activities will address the direct needs of the community and will be in line with Durban's Integrated Development Plan and Sustainable Development Plan, designed to shape the eThekwini Municipality into a world leading city by 2020.
ZDROJ:Originally posted at: www.ens-newswire.com
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