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Titas plugs leaks, earns $3m amid slumping carbon market

MUNIMA SULTANA | February 12, 2024 00:00:00

When major carbon emission reduction projects in Bangladesh struggled to trade greenhouse gas (GHG) credits, the state-owned natural gas distributor Titas Gas earned over $3 million in four years till 2023 for saving gas from leaky residential and commercial risers.

Officials of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) Cell of Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company said that the $3.04 million was earned by generating Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) after repairing risers that prevented gas misuse.

Titas Gas received the successful payment in the fiscal year 2022-23 through the Danish company NE Climate A/S, said an official.

The clean development mechanism was a market mechanism under the UN's greenhouse-reducing international treaty 'Kyoto Protocol'. It allowed countries to trade carbon emission reduction credits.

The Paris Agreement replaced the Kyoto Protocol and introduced a different carbon trading system, impacting CER prices.

Despite some CDM projects continuing with the goal of claiming GHG emission reductions until 2030, implementing agencies have found less interest in CER calculations due to the change in the carbon trading mechanism under the Paris Agreement, which significantly lowered CER prices.

However, Titas Gas earned foreign currency by reducing carbon emissions: 33,78,611 tonnes in 2018, 34,81,722 tCO2e in 2019, 40,49,551 tCO2e in 2020 and 4.13 million tCO2e in 2021, according to the CDM Cell of Titas.

The project stopped 20.68 Million Cubic Feet per Day (MMCFD) of gas leakage by repairing 35,252 leaky risers identified through inspections of 5,65,952 residential and commercial risers in 2017, the year of the baseline study.

The company is currently evaluating its sixth year of CERs, as the project continues until 2027.

Besides, the company received 20,000 Euros from the same Danish company under another project by calculating verified emission reductions in 2020. This project repaired 17,072 leaky risers after inspecting leaks from 143,394 residential and commercial risers.

However, Bangladesh's first two CDM projects stopped calculating CERs after their initial years (2009 and 2012). The drastic drop in CER prices led the project developer Waste Concern to lose interest, as the costs of calculation exceeded the market value.

Waste Concern, the first private organisation to register a CDM project under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, also encountered a lack of cooperation from the then-city corporation. The company was denied access to tap methane gas from the Matuail landfill, hindering the project's implementation.

Other CDM projects in the country covered renewable energy (rooftop solar panels), waste management and energy-efficient brick kilns. While calculating CERs, the CDM Board also projected the potential CER generation by existing registered projects to reach 118 million by 2029-2030.

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