Specialist chemical services provider Omnia said on Monday that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) had registered its new nitric acid complex, in Sasolburg, as a Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project.
Located next to the company’s existing nitric acid plant, the new facility started operations in March.
To participate in the current certified emission reductions (CERs) market, projects had to be registered with the UNFCCC before January 1 2013 and were estimated to take up to 18 months to complete.
Omnia said it successfully completed the registration of its second project in 10 months and was one of three companies in the world to obtain approval under the new methodology accepted by the CDM executive board in June 2011.
The new ‘green’ nitric acid complex was designed to generate between 250 000 to 350 000 carbon credits a year. This would total about 650 000 to 730 000 CERs each year for the new and existing plant combined.
At full capacity, waste steam from the production process at the new plant generated about 50% of the total electricity demand for the entire Sasolburg site. Omnia indicated that this would substantially reduce power costs and the effect of steep electricity price increases, while also further reducing the group’s carbon footprint.
The company said the new facility would enable a reduction in greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions of about 500 000 t of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) a year. Yearly emission reductions from both plants was expected to be about 900 000 t of CO2e and was anticipated to increase to 1.15-million tons of CO2e at full capacity.
Omnia stated that the achievements were as a result of the implementation of new technology at the plants, which eliminated 98% of GHG emissions.
To date, the company has been issued 1.75-million CERs, or about 400 000 CERs a year, which translated into 42% of the total issuance in Southern Africa.
“We expect the group to take an even bigger share of the number of CERs issued in South Africa in the near future due to the registration of our second project,” MD Rod Humphris said.