Huseyn Bagirov: Air Pollution in Azerbaijan grew to 35 -40 million tons of gas
35-40 million tons of the carbon gas is annually dumped into the atmosphere by the Azerbaijani industry, the Ecology and Natural Resources Minister, Huseyn Bagirov told at the Carbon Financing seminar, organized by the World Bank in Baku. Up to 62 million tons of gas was dumped during the Soviet period, after the fall of the Union this figure decreased to 25-30 m tons. Most part of the carbon emissions comes from the power stations, which are obsolete and demand renovation.
According to the Kyoto agreement all countries signed the treaty (162 country in 2006) should decrease the dumps amounts to 5-5,5bln tons by the year 2012, WB representatives told at the seminar. The pollution level has to be decreased to 5,2% i. e. to the 1990 level and it will be valid till 2012, when the treaty expires. WB has agreed to buy 9 carbon portfolios in total but the mechanism of the deal has to be defined. The protocol includes three mechanisms- common cooperation, pure development mechanism and the dumps trade.
Azerbaijan now participates only in the pure development mechanism, Bagirov said. There is a huge potential in the country to launch projects according to this mechanism, as Azerbaijan is an oil and gas country and it has appropriate geographical location. Large investments might be attracted to the Azerbaijani companies and organizations via projects to collect methane from the dumping sites in the oil and gas industry. In energetic area this can be achieved via reducing the levels of carbon and methane gas, he said.
3 million tons of carbon gas can be reduced only in 5 of Azenergi projects, which will attract 10m EURO of additional income into the country. All methane consisting in 1m m3 of the accompanying gas can be collected from 23 oil wells of SOCAR `s single field. It makes 15,000 tons of the carbon gas respectively i.e. SOCAR may receive 75,000 EURO for it. More than 80,000 tons of the methane gas can be collected annually at the Sumgayit industrial dumps site. It can make up to 240,000 EURO each year.
Together with the member countries we were also advised to reduce the gas emission levels. There is no need to sale this gas, as when the new factory will be build it might be used there and no permission needs to be taken due to the small amounts of the dumping. Some of the Kyoto protocol member states are required to reduce the dumps to 5-12% and they are forced to close some of their factories and build them in some other countries. Azerbaijan does not have such a danger, he added