Pytrade plans to cash in on carbon savings

Pytrade has taken steps to make money from carbon it won’t emit, and has taken steps to do so with Pacific Carbon Trust.

Pytrade has taken steps to make money from carbon it won’t emit.

The company, which according to spokesman Erich Fussl plans to start construction of its pyrolisis plant in Kitimat sometime in 2012, plans to formally apply to B.C. corporation Pacific Carbon Trust (PCT) as a carbon offset supplier and has already started conversations with PCT about this.

What this means simply is, should Pytrade be approved, for every tonne of C02 not emitted into the atmosphere they will make money by selling credits. Currently, PCT pays $25 per tonne of C02 to its suppliers, and then sells it to those who emit more than they are allowed.

Carbon offsets — meaning C02 not emitted — have a cash value and  calculating how many credits a company gets from PCT depends on a variety of factors, explained  PCT president David Moffat.

First, a supplier must be B.C. based to sell to PCT. Then, they must be evaluated to ensure they meet what Moffat calls “world class standards.”

Also, he said that if a company is doing something using green technology which replaces technology that emits more, the difference in those emissions are quantified as credits.

Using Pytrade as an example, the company plans to use pyrolisis, which is considered a renewable and carbon neutral resource, to power and heat greenhouses which would otherwise use natural gas as an energy source.

“We replace 5,800 tonnes of CO2,” said Fussl. “This volume would be created if they run the greenhouse with natural gas.”

The 5,800 tonnes, if purchased by PCT at $25 per ton, would sell for $145,000.

But before Pytrade can qualify as a seller, they need to begin an assessment process with PCT.

Moffat said Pytrade’s next step is to submit a project information document — a summary of the project — to see if it meets PCT’S standards.

Before a purchase, the offsets would have to be third-party quantified and verified, said Moffat.

But while there is currently a global market for carbon offsets valued around $140 billion annually under what’s called the cap and trade system, said Moffat, B.C. currently has its own controlled market.

The B.C. carbon market comes from B.C. government legislation born of the intent to make the province carbon neutral.

It came into affect in 2010. Since then the public sector has been required to quantify its emissions and take steps to reduce them.

If a public body facility, like a school, hospital, or government office building, emits more than legislation permits, it purchases carbon offset credits from PCT.

For example, the Coast Mountains School District paid almost $65,000 to purchase carbon offsets from PCT this year.