25 July 2013 – Industrial operations in South Africa are able to reduce gas wastage and consequently purchase carbon credits, by making use of a gas saving system that has been manufactured in-house by Shield Technologies, which specialises on products designed for welding and industrial applications.
Shield CEO Wayne Holt says that the use of gas in welding cannot be avoided, as they are required in all welding applications to protect the weld from the atmosphere, in order to prevent an interaction with nitrogen and oxygen, which results in welding defects. He does, however, highlight the fact that efficient gas management can substantially reduce carbon emissions.
"The impact of gas on the environment starts with the manufacture of industrial gases, where considerable amounts of electrical energy are consumed. In South Africa, the vast majority of electricity is generated by coal fired power stations, and this high consumption has a direct and significant impact on the environment," he says.
During the supply and usage cycle, further electrical energy is used to compress the gas, while from a logistical point of view, trucks contribute further to carbon emissions when delivering the gas to its final destination. Holt points out that gas wastage is a major contributor to excessive carbon emissions in the industry, and can be substantially reduced via the Shielding gas savings system.
"An important component of this technology is that the system prevents surges at start-up, allowing for an even flow during welding, while enabling the user to conduct routine leak detection surveys. The result has been significant gas and financial savings for clients, with wastage being reduced by up to 80%," he says.
Holt notes that a proactive approach to reducing wastage entitles a business to purchase JSE-listed carbon credit notes, which enable businesses to offset their emissions to achieve carbon neutrality. A single carbon credit represents the reduction of one tonne of CO2 equivalent emissions, and also provides holders with the opportunity to gain exposure to carbon credits that are generated from carbon dioxide emission reducing projects, by holding a listed tradable security.
Carbon credit notes can be traded via a stockbroker, and the price is determined by supply and demand of carbon credits in the market. Carbon credit note holders in South Africa do not take physical delivery of carbon credits, however, the issuer is obliged to deliver the carbon credit cash equivalent amount to the holder of each carbon credit note. Holt continues: "Carbon credit notes also enable the holder to report a reduced carbon footprint in its financial statements, something that is becoming increasingly important in modern day business."