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Indian Railways loses out on carbon credits as registration gets delayed

According to reports, with carbon credit prices crashing, Indian Railways has missed the opportunity to earn from credits for the Mumbai suburban services, owing to delay in project registration.

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) and Mumbai Metro One have, however, been able to cash in on the credits.

The Railways’ project was taken up for registration, with the World Bank as consultant, and received host country approval three-and-a-half years ago, in January 2009.

Now, the project is under the process of validation for registration by the UN.

But carbon credit prices have crashed to $4 levels owing to the financial crisis in Europe and lack of consensus on the future of the Kyoto Protocol beyond 2012.

The Railways can now trade its credits only if the market recovers.

The Railways took up the project for using regenerative energy-based electronic multiple units (EMU). “The use of such EMUs results in energy saving valued at Rs 1.08 crore per train a year,” said a Railway official. At present, 128 such trains are in use in the Mumbai suburban system, implying energy savings of Rs 138 crore a year. Meanwhile, DMRC, a relatively new player in the transport sector, has already cashed in on the carbon trading option. Last year, it earned Rs 2.41 crore by selling 82,000 units of carbon credits. The credits were bought by Japan Finance Carbon Ltd at a per certified emission reduction (CER) rate of $6.2 (2008 deliveries) and $6.9 (2009 deliveries).

It earned CERs for the use of regenerative braking system in its trains, a process DMRC had registered with the UN in December 2007.

In February 2011, Maruti-Suzuki also registered with the UN project for moving its cars by train instead of road.

In June 2011, Mumbai Metro One — the metro project implemented by Reliance Infra — also registered its project with the UN, with Switzerland being the buying country. In June this year, DMRC also registered its phase-II project, with Switzerland as the buyer.

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