Four Central and South American Projects to
 Reduce Over 100 Million Tons of Greenhouse Gases

Washington, D.C., March 17, 1999 - Four projects ranging from more efficient power turbines to wind energy have been chosen for inclusion in the U.S. Initiative on Joint Implementation (USIJI) program.  The projects are:  The CAPSA Project in Argentina, the Santa Teresa Hydroelectric Project in Guatemala, the Landfill Gas Management in Greater Buenos Aires, Argentina, and the Wind Energy Project in Northern Chile.  The projects in Argentina and Chile are the first projects in these  countries to be included in the USIJI program.

The U.S. Initiative on Joint Implementation is part of the Clinton's Administration's Climate Change Action Plan.  The pilot program encourages U.S. businesses and non-governmental organizations to use their resources and innovative technologies and practices to reduce greenhouse gases and promote sustainable development worldwide.  Such partnerships offer the potential to achieve greater and more cost-effective emission reductions worldwide than would be possible in each country alone.

The USIJI now includes 36 projects in 16 countries, representing a diversity of technologies that range from forestry conservation practices to power plant conversions.  The projects are reviewed and selected by an evaluation panel including senior representatives from eight federal agencies.

The new projects include:

The CAPSA Project - Argentina
The project involves the conversion of six gas turbines from simple cycle to combined cycle operation at the Capex power plant in the Province of Neugen, Argentina.  Converting the turbines to combined cycle results in an increase of 185 megawatts in power generated by the plant through the use of waste energy, without increasing fuel consumption.  This increased capacity will displace other, more expensive fossil capacity, resulting in emissions reduction.  The total greenhouse gas benefits of the 185 megawatts of additional power achieved with no increase in fuel consumption are estimated at roughly between 16.5 and 33 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide over the project's 30 year lifetime.
U.S. Partners:  El Paso Energy International Company of Houston, Texas and the International Utility Efficiency Partnerships, Inc. (IUEP--an affiliate of Edison Electric Institute) of Washington, DC .
Non-U.S. Partners:  Capex, S.A., an independent power producer and owner of the Agua de Cajon power plant.

Landfill Gas Management in Greater Buenos Aires - Argentina
This project involves development of gas collection and combustion systems at landfills owned and operated by Coórdinacion Ecológia Area Metropolitana, Sociedad del Estado (CEAMSE), a regional government agency serving the Greater Buenos Aires area in Argentina.  Because landfill gas is approximately 50 percent methane, combustion of landfill gas results in a significant reduction in methane through oxidation of the methane to carbon dioxide.  It is estimated that if all gas generated by 5 million metric tonnes of waste deposited annually in the CEAMSE landfills is collected and combusted, the project could result in an emission reduction of 4 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide-equivalent per year.  On the basis of a nominal 20 year project lifetime, this would result in 80 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide-equivalent averted.
U.S. Partner:  Pacific Energy Systems, Inc. (PES) of Portland, Oregon.
Non-U.S. Partner:  Coórdinacion Ecológia Area Metropolitana, Sociedad del Estado (CEAMSE).
 

The Santa Teresa Hydroelectric Project - Guatemala
This project involves the construction of a hydroelectric dam which will generate electricity by a non-greenhouse gas-emitting renewable resource, thereby displacing the combustion of fossil fuels used in generating electricity and will thus, reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  The Santa Teresa Hydroelectric project is estimated to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a total estimate of  1,238,900 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide over a 15 year project life.  Plant size and water flow rates indicate that the facility will be operational 50% of the time.
U.S. Partner:  The Center for Sustainable Development in the Americas (CSDA) of Washington, DC.
Non-U.S. Partners:  Agropolochic S.A., and Energia Global International (EGI).

Wind Energy Project - Chile
The project involves the construction of a 37.5 megawatt wind energy facility near the city of Calama, in the desert region of Antofagasta in northern Chile.  The facility will include 50 wind turbines, each of which is rated at 750 kilowatts.  The developers anticipate that the proposed wind facility will meet a portion of the high growth in electricity demand and will offset electricity from a mixture of fuel sources including coal from the grid.  When implemented, this will lead to reductions of about 3 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide over the project lifetime of 20 years.  This project would be the first significant energy generation project in Chile to use a renewable resource other than hydro.
U.S. Partner:  International Institute for Energy Conservation (IIEC) of Washington, DC.
Non-U.S. Partner:  Corporación Nacional del Cobre de Chile (CODELCO).
 

For more information, media may contact Amber Jones at the Department of Energy, 202-596-5819.  Businesses and other organizations may contact USIJI at 202-586-3288.