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Abu Dhabi cycle power and desalination plant receives over 36,000 Carbon Credits
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Abu Dhabi cycle power and desalination plant receives over 36,000 Carbon Credits

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An Abu Dhabi energy project has become the first UAE based company to be registered as meeting global Verified Carbon Standard criteria, receiving Carbon Credits to help fund its programme in a national environmental breakthrough.

And sustainable investment experts claim the award is welcome news for the UAE, a nation consistently named among the world’s worst polluters per capita.

VCS issues credits relating to the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction achieved by the project. These credits – known as Verified Carbon Units or VCUs – may then be sold on the carbon market to companies who wish to reduce their carbon footprint.

Emirates CMS Power Company (ECPC), a combined cycle power and desalination plant operating in Al Taweelah wholly-owned by the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority, has received 36,436 VCUs to date in certificates - currently trading at over $13 each - to sell on the open market.

The project recovers heat to generate low-pressure steam using heat re-claimer coils to achieve significant GHG emissions reduction. The power plant includes gas turbines, heat recovery steam generators and steam turbines, with water production achieved from four distillers fired by waste heat from the gas turbines. Supplemental gas firing within the plant also allows up to 100 per cent of water production capacity to be achieved while operating at power production levels as low as 30 per cent.

Benefits of implementing the project have been reduced thermal discharge into the atmosphere, efficient use of waste heat for steam generation and desalination, and a reduction in CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion. The increase in plant efficiency is also helping to reduce the environmental footprint of power and water production.

In addition to reducing the effects of climate change, the project will also contribute to sustainable development in Abu Dhabi through conserving fossil fuel and the introduction of new practices and technology. While the reduced combustion of fossil fuels will lower local air pollution levels, which is expected to improve the area’s living conditions, the project is also expected to encourage other organisations to implement similar projects at their facilities to reduce their own consumption of natural resources and environmental footprint. By providing a value for the reduction in CO2 emissions, this award should provide an important vehicle to promote the introduction of environmentally friendly technologies in the UAE’s power sector.

David Antonioli, Chief Executive Officer of the VCS Association, which is based in Washington DC, says: “Our job is to determine project eligibility and ensure the project quantifies greenhouse gas emission reductions or removals according to a methodology that has been developed under VCS or another approved GHG programme.

“Within the VCS Project Database, every Verified Carbon Unit, or VCU, can be tracked from issuance to retirement, allowing buyers to ensure every credit is real, additional, permanent, independently verified, uniquely numbered and fully traceable online.”
Charles Stephenson, Director of Dubai-based sustainable investment group, AGT, says: “One of the most common questions our team of consultants based in the UAE are asked – particularly by businesses looking to retire Carbon Credits as part of their CSR programmes - is 'which projects in the UAE benefit from this type of funding?' and up until now there haven't been any, so this development is a big deal for our consultants. Hopefully the award will spur on many more GHG reduction projects in the UAE and across the region and we can keep the momentum going.”











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