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Case Study


Development of UNFCCC GHG Emission Reduction Methodology

> Client: UNFCCC. Dead Sea Magnesium.

Implementation period: 2006 - 2007

Geographic coverage: Worldwide application

Theme: Climate change, GHG assessment, Climate finance, Funding and grants.

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Dead Sea Magnesium Ltd – a subsidiary company within Israel Chemicals (ICL) –is one of the world's leading producers of magnesium.
During the production process, the molten magnesium is highly combustible and burns in contact with the air; therefore, the casting process uses a cover gas that isolates the magnesium and prevents contact with the air, maintaining quality and ensuring process safety. Since the establishment of the magnesium plant, the cover gas used was SF6, a potent greenhouse gas – one tonne of SF6 emitted into the atmosphere is equivalent to emitting 23,900 tonnes of CO2. 

Dead Sea Magnesium Ltd mandated EcoTraders to source funding for the implementation of a Greenhouse Gas Reduction project, replacing SF6 with alternate cover gas, under the Clean Development Mechanism of the United Nations (CDM).
However, the magnesium industry lacked a proper methodology to calculate and monitor resulting emissions reductions. The first objective, therefore, was to develop a calculation and monitoring methodology for use of alternate cover gases, applicable to the global magnesium industry, for approval by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).



EcoTraders carried out an in-depth examination of the project's feasibility in order to elaborate and produce a methodology in accordance with UNFCCC guidelines and standards, and as per the strict UN time tables.
In particular, EcoTraders carried out the following steps: 
•    In-depth market research on the production processes and common technologies used for cover gases

•    Identification and analysis of cleaner production methods for cover gas technology and comparison to the common practice in the country and region;

•     Identification of major barriers (technological, economic) preventing wide scale implementation in the market

•    Analysis of GHG impacts of various alternatives and development of required calculations, assumptions and parameters 

•    Identification and engagement with project stakeholders, including the International Magnesium Association, E.P.A., UN bodies, and industrial companies 

•    Engagement with UNFCCC expert panel until final approval

The methodology was built in accordance with the UNFCCC and CDM Executive Board guidelines, in full conformity with the rules and principles of the mechanism. It has been approved by the UNFCCC Secretariat and published as a guiding global document in English.

The SF6 switch project of Dead Sea Magnesium was successfully implemented as a CDM project which resulted in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to more than 250,000 tons of CO2 per year and in the issuance of Certified Emission Reductions (CERs). 

Key results

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