Mirant mounts effort to reduce greenhouse gases

By the OGJ Online Staff

HOUSTON, Sept. 12, 2001 – Independent energy producer Mirant Corp. said it will spend $50 million over 10 years for research into global warming and ways to combat it.

Renewable energy projects in Europe will play an increasing role in Mirant’s environmental strategy, the company said. The Atlanta-based power producer outlined its own new corporate initiatives involving climate change in the company’s first annual environmental report released Tuesday

In the report, Mirant outlined projects it will help fund, including greenhouse gas mitigation projects to help offset its carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. It also will utilize energy efficiency improvements and projects that act to trap carbon, not allowing nitrogen oxide (NOx) to form. Funding will help support research that seeks to understand the causes of climate change and develop less carbon-intensive generation technologies.

Mirant will also develop its own inventory of greenhouse gas emission sources. The inventory will be compiled by using the method developed by the World Resources Institute and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. From there, Mirant will develop its own program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“Undertaking a greenhouse gas inventory is the place to start, yet emissions and investments in clean energy technologies is where we hope this information would lead an energy company,” said Elizabeth Cook, director of World Resources Institute’s Environmental program.

Development of renewable energy generation projects will become increasingly important in Europe, the company said.

“Mirant expects that Europe offers many of the best opportunities for investment in renewable generation projects,” said Barney Rush, CEO of Mirant’s European business group. The company’s environmental report discusses corporate policy, an environmental management system, and environmental performance indicators. The report also set improvement targets and links compensation of employees to environmental performance.

The $50 million investment is in addition to a recently announced $3 million commitment to a California based company Cheng Power Systems that will develop and commercialize products that decrease Nox and increase fuel use in power generation plants.

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