The successful commissioning and operation of MTN’s trigeneration plant at its head office in Fairland, Johannesburg, is attracting numerous requests from companies wanting to join the programme to be implemented at other sites of MTN. 
Robbie Louw, a director of Promethium Carbon, a carbon advisory firm assisting MTN in the development of the programme, confirmed that new projects joining the MTN programme do not need to go through the expensive and lengthy validation process required for projects to be registered under the CDM.
“The biggest advantage of joining the programme lies in the fact that the 2012 deadline for CDM project registration is not applicable to projects joining a registered Programme of Activities (PoA),” he says.
The Fairland trigeneration plant is the first of its kind in South Africa.
“Its successful operation means that we can roll out this technology with confidence,” says Willem Weber, core implementation manager at MTN, who confirms that a number of these plants are now in the pipeline for MTN.
Trigeneration is the concurrent production of electricity, heating and cooling from a single source, in this case from Egoli gas, to provide power to create hot water, space heating and cooling for air conditioning.
“The process of joining into an established programme is much simpler than the registration of a normal United Nation Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project.  The biggest benefits lie in the reduction of registration costs and registration risk,” says Louw.
The PoA will be hosted by the Carbon Protocol of South Africa, the non-profit organisation that also hosts the annual Climate Leadership Awards as well as South Arica’s carbon neutral standard.
“The hosting of the programme at this neutral venue is a positive move that opens it for widespread use,” Louw says.
“It enables MTN’s leadership in the supply of low carbon energy to have significant multiplication impacts on the South African and other developing nation economies,” says Hildegard Niehaus, co-ordinator of the Carbon Protocol.
“MTN will continue to invest on the journey to a green economy,” says Weber. “The purpose being to allow our clients to reduce their footprint – both in the use of our service and in the impact the use of our service has on their other activities.
“The supply of low carbon energy to our operations is one of the cornerstones of our green strategy.”
All MTN’s planned trigeneration projects will be included in a Clean Development Mechanism Program of Activities (CDM PoA). The programme will be open to allow companies other than MTN to participate in additional projects.
“In this way MTN’s impact on the green economy will be much wider than just the supply of power to MTN’s own operations. This bold step underlines MTN’s leadership in this field,” says Louw.
The project utilises a Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) methodology developed by MTN, approved by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).  It is currently in the process of being registered with the UNFCCC. Once registered, MTN will be able to sell these carbon credits.