The success of MTN’s first trigeneration plant has sparked an influx of South African companies wanting to join the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) Programme of Activities (PoA) of the telecommunication group’s next clean energy project, carbon advisory firm Promethium Carbon director Robbie Louw said.
MTN’s R22-million energy efficient, methane-powered plant, which was officially launched in August at the company’s Fairland offices, in Johannesburg, was currently undergoing registration with the United Nations (UN's) Framework Convention on Climate Change as a CDM “umbrella” project.
Promethium assisted MTN in the design of the CDM.
The UN approval of the project, which creates electricity, cooling and heating from gas sourced from the Sasol pipeline, in Mozambique, and distributed to the site by Egoli Gas, would cover every trigeneration plant constructed by MTN, as well as enable other companies to participate in projects.
MTN was expected to commission a second trigeneration plant at its Centurion office in 2013, followed by two more at MTN Doornfontein and MTN Germiston.
The increasing importance of “green energy” and the efforts to reduce the impact on the environment through the efficient production of electricity, cooling and heating from a single fuel source, has attracted banks, airports, hospitals and shopping malls, besides others, to the trigeneration project, said Louw.
New projects joining the MTN programme did not need to go through the expensive and lengthy validation process required to be registered under the CDM.
“The process of joining into an established programme is much simpler than the registration of a normal United Nation CDM project. The biggest benefits lie in the reduction of registration costs and registration risk,” said Louw.
Joining an established PoA, instead of registering a CDM project, could achieve monetary savings of about R1-million and time savings of about one year.
MTN’s trigeneration PoA was expected to be registered by year-end and companies would be able to start joining the PoA and implementing similar trigeneration projects, during 2013.
The PoA would be hosted by nonprofit organisation Carbon Protocol South Africa.