Unocal Corporation's Unocal Geothermal Indonesia, Ltd. (UGI) subsidiary, PT. PLN and PERTAMINA (P.PTM) recently announced the first sale of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction credits from Indonesia. The sale involved GHG emission reduction credits from Units 4, 5, and 6 of the Gunung Salak Geothermal Project on the Island of Java to the World Economic Forum (WEF).

The credits will offset emissions associated with the WEF annual meeting in New York. The sale will make the WEF meeting "GHG emissions neutral."

The 362-megawatt Gunung Salak Geothermal Project emits approximately 2.6 million tons/year less carbon dioxide than a comparable-sized coal-fired electrical generating plant. The WEF sale involved 4,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent emissions reductions.

Dr. Hardiv Situmeang, director of planning for PLN, said that this initial transaction with the WEF demonstrates to Indonesia and others that such emission transactions are possible. Irzawadi Agus, general manager of PERTAMINA Geothermal, echoed the importance of this first sale for Indonesia.

"This transaction demonstrates that the environmental benefits associated with geothermal operations can be valued, thus improving the prospects for future geothermal development in Indonesia," he said.

"This pilot-scale transaction for GHG emissions reduction not only helps to reduce the environmental impact of power generation, but it encourages using clean, environmentally preferable resources," said Bradley Govreau, UGI vice president and general manager. "The economic benefits of such projects contribute to Indonesia's long-term economic growth."

UGI produces geothermal steam from the Salak field on behalf of PERTAMINA to supply six power plants. The first two geothermal power plants, owned and operated by PLN, went online in 1994. Four more units—three operated by an affiliate of UGI and the fourth operated by PLN—entered commercial service in 1997.

Indonesia has an estimated geothermal energy potential of approximately 20,000 MW. Indonesia's electricity consumption has more than doubled during the past decade. Unocal and PERTAMINA's oil and gas operations also have an ongoing program to cut CO2 emissions by reducing gas flaring.

A representative from Unocal's geothermal business unit participates as an Indonesia delegate to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. In addition, Unocal's and PERTAMINA's partially developed geothermal project at Sarulla on the Island of Sumatra has been recognized by the Government of Indonesia as a climate change mitigation priority project.