The UNFCCC has registered the Jirau Hydropower Plant under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). The renewable energy produced by Jirau will allow a reduction of up to six million tons of CO2 emissions annually as it will reduce the need to dispatch (or build new) fossil fueled power plants.
The Jirau hydropower plant is the largest renewable energy plant ever registered and it demonstrates that the Clean Development Mechanism, when applied in tandem with national greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation and enabling policies, is capable of promoting major infrastructure projects.
Gérard Mestrallet, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of GDF SUEZ declared: “The Jirau CDM project stands as a key element in Brazil’s efforts to promote sustainable economic growth based on renewable power. This recognition by the United Nations illustrates the strong commitment of GDF SUEZ to develop renewable energy around the world and in Brazil.”
The Jirau project is a key element in Brazil’s National Policy on Climate Change, which promotes expansion based on hydroelectricity and other renewable technologies, such as wind and biomass. This policy encourages a balance between low GHG emissions, energy security, environmental protection and social development.
GDF SUEZ has been a pioneer of CDM since its participation as a founding member of the Prototype Carbon Fund in 2001 and is actively using the program to promote clean energy investments. To date, the Group has registered a portfolio of 15 CDM projects in Asia, Africa and Latin America, using wind, water, geothermal and biomass as sustainable sources of renewable energy. The CDM registration is effective as of December 26, 2012, which enables the project to sell its credits to the European emission trading scheme (EU ETS).
The Jirau project, which is under construction on the Madeira River in the state of Rondônia in Brazil, is currently jointly owned by GDF SUEZ (60%)(1), Eletrosul (20%) and Chesf (20%). Designed as a run-of-the-river facility with a small reservoir, the plant will have an installed capacity of 3,750 MW and potential to meet the electricity demand of 10 million Brazilian households. The commissioning of the project is expected to start in mid 2013.
(1) On May 13, GDF SUEZ and Mitsui announced a partnership where Mitsui will take a 20% equity interest in the project, expanding the long-term partnership between the two Groups. The closing of the transaction is expected to occur during the second half of 2013, upon satisfaction of certain conditions, including obtaining approvals from Brazilian authorities (ANEEL – Electricity Energy Regulatory Agency and CADE – Brazilian anti-trust entity) and lenders (BNDES and local commercial banks).