National Environmental Investment Agency and UNDP cooperate on methane gas extraction in Lugansk landfill

10 Sep 2010


In the famous Donbass coal mining region in southeastern Ukraine, an innovative new project to capture methane emissions from the municipal landfill is being put in place by the local municipality in close collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The National Environmental Investment Agency Chairman Sergiy Orlenko and UNDP Country Director Ricarda Rieger exchanged with endorsement letter today. This document guarantees the state support to continue the joint implementation project.

By capping the landfill on a closed section of the site, installing a system of some 30 wells, and then undertaking active gas extraction by connecting the wells through a system of horizontal and vertical pipes to a flare, the project aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 220,000 tonnes of co2 from now until 2020.

The 'endorsement-letter' enables the Project's key investor and implementing partner - a Lugansk-based "Nadra Luganshchyny" - to proceed to the final stage in completing the Project already this year.

The National Environmental Investment Agency is the state institution which regulates the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol in Ukraine. It also supervises designing and executing of projects aimed at reducing the volumes of harmful gas emissions.

According to the signed letter, the Agency endorses "Nadra Luganshchyny" to undertake actions which would allow to transfer gas emission units, which would be obtained within the Project's implementation.

The Agency will also tranfer to the purchaser the verified number of tonnes of these units, exclusively in the volumes created as a result of the Project's implementation since its beginning and until the end of its first stage by the end of 2012 and until 2020 later on.


On the photo: during the ceremony at the National Environmental Investment Agency; (from left to right) Oleg Nedava, Adviser to Lugansk State Regional Administration Head, Sergiy Orlenko, the NEIA Chairman, Ricarda Rieger, UNDP Country Director in Ukraine, Sergei Volkov, UNDP Senior Programme Manager for Energy and Environment, Aleksandr Severin, Project Manager of 'Sustainable Development of Lugansk Region' Project.

This project is one of the very first landfill gas Joint Implementation projects in Ukraine and as such it hoped that the project can help serve as a model for replication throughout Ukraine and the region. For instance, it is planned to showcase the results from the project to other regions of Ukraine who may also be interested in undertaking similar regional initiatives. What this project does is demonstrate the importance of initiatives being implemented at a regional and sub-regional level in helping to combat climate change.

Partners on this project include the Lugansk Regional State Administration, local project developer 'Nadra Luganshchyny', the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) through its MDG Carbon Facility, and Fortis Bank who have purchased the carbon credits through a forward contract with the project developer.

Methane, a potent greenhouse gas, is emitted into the atmosphere at the landfill site through the decomposition of old municipal waste. In a business-as-usual, scenario there would be no requirement for the municipality to capture and flare the methane gas. The Kyoto Protocol creates a new business opportunity for this type of project. With the addition of new revenues from the sale of carbon credits suddenly the project becomes commercially viable.