French utility buys carbon credits from China hydro

French utility GDF Suez has purchased about 1.6 million certified emission reduction (CER) credits from two hydropower projects in China.

The projects, operated by subsidiaries of power generator China Guodian Group Corp., include one 48-MW hydroelectric project in northwest China and a 99-MW hydro plant in southeast China. GDF Suez said the projects should be operating by the end of 2009.

GDF Suez bought the credits under the second phase of the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme, which runs from 2008-2012.

CERs are each equivalent to one ton of carbon dioxide. They can be traded and are used by industrialized countries to help meet part of their emission reductions targets.

The agreement was obtained during the visit of GDF Suez Chairman Gerard Mestrallet to China and was formalized with signing of Emission Rights Purchase Agreements November 3 by officials of GDF Suez and the China Guodian units.

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