The second component of the eThekwini Durban landfill gas to electricity Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project will be launched by Energy Minister Dipuo Peters on Thursday.
The second component of the project involves the extraction of landfill gas (between 40% and 60% methane) at the Bisasar Road landfill site through extraction wells and interlinking pipe work.
Electricity at the Bisasar Road landfill compound is generated through purpose built 1-MW engines and was currently generating a total of 6,5 MW with a further 1-MW engine at the Mariannhill Landfill site, totaling 7,5 MW.
The entire project, which includes the initial Mariannhill and La Mercy sites, is the first landfill CDM project in South Africa.
The total project expenditure was said to be about R100-million. The project income revenue is estimated at about R4,5-million a month - realised from the sale of carbon credits and the sale of electricity.
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which houses the CDM executive board, indicates on its website that 68 833 t/y of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent are offset from Mariannhill and La Mercy and 342 705 t/y of CO2 equivalent are offset at Bisasar.
Credits have thus far been sold to the World Bank.
The CDM, under the Kyoto Protocol, allows project owners in South Africa to generate an additional revenue stream through the sale of carbon credits to developed countries.
The landfill gas projects effectively capture methane gas, which escapes from the landfill, and use it to generate cleaner burning electricity. Thus cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions and allowing Annex 1 countries to buy the savings in CO2 equivalent gases, which are blamed for climate change and global warming.
As well as making use of the methane gas, the landfill projects also displaced some of the electricity generated from coal, which was also said to emit significant CO2 and contribute to global warming.