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Planet Ark World Environment News Ruhrgas aims to boost CO2 credit with Russia project

Date: 19-Mar-04
Country: GERMANY
Author: Nicholas Brautlecht

The firm runs a so-called Joint Implementation (JI) project together with Russia's gas giant Gazprom (GAZP.MO: Quote, Profile, Research) , which aims to cut carbon dioxide emissions on the Russian pipeline network, Ruhrgas spokesman Christian Drepper told Reuters.

"We are trying to cut CO2 emissions on Gazprom's large network through computerising processes which were carried out manually before, making the transport more efficient," he said.

As the linchpin of its Kyoto efforts, the EU is due to start an ambitious emissions trading scheme which caps the CO2 output of many power, smelting, steel and other plants from 2005.

The scheme allows firms to deal CO2 permits, effectively the right to pollute. Companies that exceed their CO2 caps may buy permits from others which end up within their targets.

Brussels has plans to allow EU firms to gain credits by helping to reduce CO2 in other countries. They might then be able to sell or use these credits in the EU market, possibly from the second emissions trading period that starts in 2008.

Ruhrgas' software enabled Gazprom, which is 6.5 percent owned by the German firm, to significantly reduce energy and CO2 output at its gas compressors, which are needed to move the gas over long distances and are the main pollutants on a network.

"We are reducing CO2 emissions by 450,000 tonnes per year, while energy use is cut by an annual 1.5 billion kilowatt hours and there is potential to save between 4-5 million tonnes of CO2 if all of Gazprom's transport units joined in," said Drepper.

"We hope that these efforts put us in a good position for the emissions trading scheme," he said.

Companies are encouraged to invest in JI projects as part of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which seeks to curb emissions of gases like CO2 from fossil fuels burnt in factories and cars that are blamed for blanketing the planet and driving up temperatures, raising sea levels and causing natural disasters.

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