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Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) Projects in TNPL

We must be thankful to carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases (GHG), because, these gases help to stabilise temperature level suitable for life what is known as greenhouse effect. Millions of years, our ecosystem has managed to regulate concentrations of greenhouse gases through natural sources and sinks. Carbon (in the form of CO2 and methane) is emitted by volcanoes and by rotting vegetation and other organic matter. But CO2 is sequestered, or absorbed, by plants and other forms of life. Some of this carbon will be released back into the atmosphere by respiration but more carbon is sequestered. However, unsustainable development practices, such as, increased use of earth resources, especially, fossil fuel consumption and deforestation emitted excess CO2, in time it would be partly absorbed by the increased growth of forests, and partly dissolved in the oceans, leading to enhanced greenhouse effect and associated climate change. The global emissions need to be reduced from current 55 billion tCO2e to around 20 billion tCO2e by 2050 to stabilize the atmospheric CO2 concentration at around 450 ppm to avoid the catastrophic change in the climate as long-term target.

In 1992, most developed countries in the world agreed to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which is designed to impose limits on greenhouse gas emissions and thus minimise the adverse effects of climate change. The objective of the Framework Convention is to achieve "stabilisation of the greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. Such a level should be achieved within a time-frame sufficient to allow ecosystems to adapt naturally to climate change, to ensure that food production is not threatened and to enable economic development to proceed in a sustainable manner". Latter a legally binding target was accepted under Kyoto Protocol in 1997 where developed countries agreed to reduce their emission by 5.2% below 1990 level. The Kyoto protocol introduces three co-operative mechanisms for developed countries to fulfill the commitments besides domestic actions to reduce emission. These include ET (Emission Trading) and JI (Joint Implementation) between developed countries and Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) between developed and developing countries.

Under International Emissions Trading, countries are permitted to use a trading system to help meet their emissions targets. In principle, a country may allocate permits to individual companies for the emission of a certain quantity of GHGs. Permits are only issued to companies to a level equal to or below the assigned amount to meet its Kyoto commitment. If a company is not meeting its target, it can buy permits from other company that emit below their targets. Carbon credits are also issued for activities, such, afforestation and reforestation where carbon is absorbed and sequestered. But it requires strict assessments like, was the forest established after 1990, how quickly it is growing and how much carbon it is sequestering. Credits are issued to the individual or company sequestering the carbon, eg. growing the forests. These credits can be sold, in international carbon market, to a carbon emitter (who is unable to meet the emission target) such as, a power company, using them to 'offset' its excessive carbon emissions.

TNPL as leader in implementing sustainable and environment friendly technology projects has already registered four CDM projects with UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change), first under waste management sector (biogas), second and fourth in renewable energy sector (Wind Farm) and third in energy efficiency improvement to mitigate climate change and three projects are under the validation stage.

Registered CDM project
1. Methane Extraction and fuel conservation Project.

The project activity involves installation of a closed anaerobic system that will produce and collect consistently high quality methane-rich biogas from bagasse wash wastewater (BWW) generated from bagasse yard and bagasse washing area in pulp mill. The BWW is diverted from TNPL's existing wastewater treatment system, open lagoon under anaerobic conditions into a closed anaerobic digester. The project activity also includes system for utilization of the collected biogas as a fuel in a lime kiln, which was earlier using furnace oil (fossil fuel). By extracting and capturing biogas, nearly 15,000 m3 per day, in a closed digester, the project reduces the methane emission that would have otherwise been emitted to the atmosphere from open lagoons. In addition, the use of the collected biogas as a fuel in the limekiln to displace   furnace oil  and its associated GHG emissions. It is a first CDM project in pulp and paper industry in the world and waste management sector in our country.

The project activity viz "Methane Extraction and Fuel Conservation Project" project of Tamil Nadu Newsprint and Papers Limited ("TNPL"), Karur District, Tamil Nadu was registered with UNFCCC as a CDM project activity under article 12 of the Kyoto protocol on 14th January 2005. The project will reduce around 400,000 Tonnes of CO2 equivalent and equal number of CERs for the total ten year crediting period. After completion of total 3 verifications and certification process by another third party (Designated Operating Entity), CDM EB (CDM Executive Board) of UNFCCC issued 161,956 Certified Emission Reductions for the period August 2003 to December 2007. This means that the implementation of the project, reduced 161,956 Tonnes of CO2  Emission and it is estimated that another 90,000 tonnes of CO2 emission were reduced for the year Jan 2008  to June 2010 and awaiting certification from CDM EB.

2. 6.75 MW Small Scale Grid Connected Wind Electricity Generation Project.

The above CDM project will generate electricity using 4 X  0.75 MW WEGs and 3 X 1.25 MW WEGs in the Devarkulam wind farm. The CDM project activity has been conceived for generating green energy from the renewable wind source and to sell the generated electricity to state electricity utility (Tamil Nadu State Electricity Board) utilizing the regional grid and will be supplied to the local consumers drawing electricity from the local grid. Since wind power is GHG emissions free, the wind power generated will save the anthropogenic GHG emissions generated by the fossil fuel based thermal power stations comprising coal, diesel, furnace oil and gas. The project was registered on 24th May 2007 and reduced 97,408 tonnes of CO2 emission and generated equal amount of carbon credits for the period Apr 2004 to Oct 2011. In the current year this project is expected to reduce around 12,000 tonnes of CO2 emission.

3. Energy Efficiency Improvement at Tamil Nadu Newsprint and Papers Limited

The project activity involves installation of a high pressure Black Liquor Solids (BLS) fired power plant operating on the Steam- Rankine cycle for replacement of the existing low pressure system. The project activity constitutes a boiler capable of firing 1300 TPD of BLS, generating around 197 TPH steam (at 65 kg/cm2 and 470 oC) and a 20 MW single extraction back pressure Turbo Alternator Set. The incremental steam generation at higher pressure per tonne of BLS results in fuel saving and more electricity lead to lower GHG emissions in the associated fossil fuel fired boilers in the mill. This project reduces  1,32,632 MT of CO2 equivalent GHG emissions and same number of CERs or carbon credits per annum for period of ten years from 3rd May 2011 to 2nd May 2021.

4. 13.75 MW Grid connected “Wind Electricity generation" Project by Tamil Nadu Newsprints and Papers Limited

The above CDM project will generate electricity using 5 X 1.25 MW WEGs in Alagiapandiapuram villages of Tirunelveli District and 6 X 1.25 MW WEGs in the Deverkulam villages of Tirunelveli District. The project aims at generating electricity from renewable wind energy source, thereby displacing the electricity from the grid that is dominated by carbon intensive fossil fuels. The electricity generated from the project activity is exported to state power utility. The project was registered on 4th April 2012. The project activity is expected to generate about 30,715 MWh annually and would reduce  28,478 t CO2equivalent  per annum GHG  emissions.

Projects under validation by Designated Operational Entity:

Apart from the above four registered projects, TNPL is in the process of developing two more CDM project viz.


1. Biogas projects II, Methane recovery and its utilization as fuel at Tamil NaduNewsprint and Papers  Limited (TNPL) :

The project is expected to reduce 25000 tonnes of CO2 emission per annum. This Project got approval from Ministry of Environment and Forest and it is under validation by Designated Operational Entity.


2. Implementation of high efficiency cogeneration system in a process industry:

The project is expected to reduce 50,000 tonnes of CO2 emission per annum. The project is submitted to Ministry of Environment and Forest for approval and it is under validation by Designated Operational Entity.


Total Emission Reduction

All the above six  projects would reduce more than 2.8 lakh MT of CO2 emission and generate equal amount of Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) per annum. Till date 2,59,364 CERs were issued by the CDM Executive Board of UNFCCC from the above projects.

TNPL - Maker of bagasse based eco-friendly paper