- Omnia Fertilisers business development manager Rudi Kriese discusses the need for CDM related expertise in South Africa. (25/06/2008) Cameraperson: Danie de Beer Edited by: Darlene Creamer (5.73 MB)
Apart from needing more incentives for renewable energy and greenhouse-gas (GHG) emission reduction, more easy-to-access information, as well as strong leadership from industry and government would be required to propel the concept.
Africa, with its paltry 25 projects, was severely lagging on the uptake of CDM projects, which could reduce GHG emissions and generate an alternate income stream from the sale of certified emission reductions (CERs) for project owners in developing countries.
In Asia and the Pacific 696 CDM projects were registered, and Latin America and the Carribbean accounted for 361 projects.
Companies such as Omnia, Sasol, PetroSA, South African Breweries, and Mondi in South Africa had registered projects. Some of these companies have indicated that the time taken to get the projects registered is almost double the time stated by the guidelines.
Recognised as one of the more successful CDM projects in South Africa, Omnia has reported that its nitrous oxide (N20) abatement CDM project would reduce about 473 000 t/y of GHGs, as well as adding an extra R60-million a year to the bottom line of the company.
Omnia Fertiliser business development manager Rudi Kriese explained that there were a number of considerations when dealing with a CDM project, and first and foremost should be the knowledge and complexity of the CDM rules and requirements.
He added that in South Africa, CDM projects should focus on carbon dioxide (CO²), nitrous oxide N²O, and methane (CH4) abatement, as these accounted for 90% of South Africa's GHG emissions.
Also important note was that environmental impact-assessment processes should be started as soon as possible for a potential CDM project, as the public participation aspect of this process would be required, and could often take some time.
CDM project builders would also need to ensure they could access the technology and skills required for monitoring of a CDM project. It was largely felt that project developers should stick with approved technologies and methodologies, as this would also cause fewer delays.
Establishing and profiling a company’s footprint was fairly easily done, and the expertise to do that exists in South Africa, however, since most of the CDM project monitoring equipment was imported, the expertise to maintain that equipment was more difficult to find.
“This is a big stumbling block, which Omnia is experiencing first hand. Experts from South Africa now need to be flown to Germany to get training in this regard, so that the maintenance can be done,” added Kriese.
In his recommendations to industry players, Kriese said that companies should start to measure GHGs and calculate their carbon footprints, as well as start to investigate options to reduce these GHGs. Companies should then identify possible projects and conduct feasibility studies into these projects.
Delegates at an Emissions Trading and Carbon Markets forum, in Johannesburg agreed that determining company's carbon footprint was a wise thing to do, particularly since most authorities felt it was only a matter of time before carbon taxes became a reality in South Africa.
Kriese added that companies should maintain a healthy relationship with authorities, and should include CO2 in its strategic planning phases. He also stated that a company could build its CDM capacity in-house, as having these valuable skills at hand would certainly cost less than employing consultants.
Important for South Africa would also be to share knowledge and CDM success stories in the industry.
The Designated National Authority (DNA), which falls under the Department of Minerals and Energy (DME) in South Africa, is responsible for the initial registration and approval of CDM projects.
The DNA has said it would be embarking on a CDM promotion and capacity building campaign for 2008, which would take place in Pretoria in June, Rustenburg in September, and Cape Town in November. Engineering News Online was not able to obtain any further details from the DME regarding this campaign.