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Progress

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Figure 1. Emission of CO2 and PFC per ton produced of aluminum (ton CO2 (-equivalent)/ton of aluminum). Emissions of PFC were higher during the smelters start-up period than when its operations were in balance. In 2010, unforseen events occurred that affected the stability of the potroom and thus greenhouse gas emissions. In normal operation CO2 emission should be 1,67 ton/ton of aluminum. In 2010, there was a fire that explains the increase in PFC emission between 2009 and 2010.

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Figure 2. Total SF6 emission from Fjarðaál smelter and from Fljótsdalsstöð power station (tons of CO2 equivalents). Notice! Leakage from electrical equipment in Fljótsdalsstöð power station. Leakage registered when refilled for several years at a time.

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Figure 3. Greenhouse gas emission caused by fuel combustion from the smelter.

 

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Figure 4. Greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel burning at Fljótsdalsstöð (kg CO2-equivalent for each MW produced). Coefficients used in calculations have been from UST up to and including 2018 (diesel oil (liters) * 2,725 + petrol (liters) * 2,723 = kg CO2-equivalent for each MW produced). Since 2019, support has been provided by GOV.UK(diesel oil (liters) * 2.68697 + petrol (liters) * 2.31495 = kg CO2 equivalent for each MW produced).

Table 1. Carbon sequestration due to projects by Alcoa Fjarðaál aluminum plant and Landsvirkjun power company ( ton CO2-eq/year)
  Alcoa Fjardaál (ton CO2 equivalents/year) Fljótsdalsstöð (ton CO2 equivalents/year)
2010 19,4 4.800
2011 42 5.380
2012 55 5.380
2013 85 5.380
2014 151,5 5.380
2015 199,8 5.380
2016 239,8 5.380
2017 269,8 5.380
2018 297,4 5.380
2019 314,5 5.380

Landsvirkjun has reclaimed about 7,000 ha of land. Until exact measurements can be made on sequestration, it is estimated to be about 4,000 t. CO2/year.

Table 1 assesses CO2 capture for projects carried out by Fjarðaál and Landsvirkjun in Iceland. Landsvirkjun's net CO2 capture for Fljótsdalsstöð is shown in Table 2.

Table 2. Net carbon sequestrationa by Fjarðaál aluminum plant and Fljótsdalsstöð power plant ( ton CO2-eq/year)
  Sequestration by land reclamation Emission SF6 from electrical equipment  Emission by fuel
combustion
Emission from
reservoir
Total emission Net sequestration
2011 5.380 - 54 1.140 1.194  
2012 5.380 - 54 1.140 1.194 4.186
2013 5.380 - 58 1.140 1.198 4.182
2014 5.380 53 55 1.140 1.248 4.132
2015 5.380 - 50 866 916 4.464
2016 5.380 - 52 997 1.049 4.331
2017 5.380 - 44 1.110 1.154 4.226
2018 5.380 114 41 1.054 1.209 4.171
2019 5.380 - 50 1.133 1.183 4.197

a: Sequestration by land reclamation - total emission (emission by fuel combustion + emission from reservoir) = net sequestration.

Updated: May 12, 2020 - Revised June 5, 2020.
Source
: Alcoa Fjarðaál, 2009 - 2020, Landsvirkjun (2009-2020)

Metrics, Targets and Monitoring Protocol

What is measured?
  1. Total emissions of CO2 and PFCs from smelter per ton of aluminium produced (CO2 equivalents/metric ton of aluminium produced). (Project effect: direct).
  2. Total SF6 emissions from leakage from substations in the transmission system and the smelter. (Project effect: direct).
  3. CO2 emissions calculated from the amount of gas and diesel fuel used by Alcoa and Landsvirkjun, mainly for transport vehicles and engines. (Project effect: direct).
  4. Carbon sequestration (CO2 equivalents/metric ton /yr) achieved by Alcoa and Landsvirkjun carbon sequestration projects in Iceland, accounting for vegetation loss caused by creation of Halson. (Project effect: direct).
Monitoring protocol
  1. Total CO2 eq. emissions = CO2 emissions from pots + CO2 eq. (PFCs) emissions from anode usage + CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion sources. Information is collected monthly.
    1. CO2 emissions from pots (MT) = 44/12 * net carbon consumption (MT)
    2. CO2 equivalent emissions from anode usage = TBD
    3. CO2 emissions from fossil fuel sources (MT) = [Propane usage (liters) * 1.5 kg CO2/liter)]/1000 (kg/MT)
  2. The equipment in substations is monitored 24 hours from Landsnet's headquarters and if gas pressure (SF6) fall more than 0,8 bars, the computer gives out warning and action is taken to stop further leakage, and gas is added to the equipment if needed. In addition, the metric is monitored by filling out special forms every time more gas is added. Every year the containers with the gas are weighted and compared to information on the forms.  
  3. Coefficients of variations are used to convert the volume of bought fossil fuels into CO2 equivalents. Diesel fuel use (liters) * 2.687 + Gasoline use (liter) * 2.315 = kg CO2 equivalents. Information gathered annually from Fljótsdalur Power Station and monthly from Alcoa Fjardaál.
  4. Further information on carbon sequestration will be introduced in 2017. The Soil Conservation Service of Iceland is currently working on the first appraisal of carbon sequestration in vegetation according to new international standards. Data collection from Landsvirkjun's land reclamation projects, according to these new processes, is expected to finish in 2019. Thereafter, data will be collected every five years. Until then, the estimated emission is calculated by the size of land reclamation areas in East Iceland and the sequestration is calculated according to The Soil Conservation Service of Iceland's standards, which is around 1 tons of CO2 equivalents per hectare a year.
    Fjarðaál estimates that the company's CO2 capture is 19,4 t. CO2/year compared to the trees that the company has been planting since 2003.

Landsvirkjun has been conducting research on emissions from reservoirs since 2003, in collaboration with both the Agricultural University of Hvanneyri and the University of Iceland, and this research is still ongoing. Their results have been evolving over time and are therefore updated when new results are available. The results of the last four years have been updated based on the latest knowledge and measurements. Work is been done on recalculations for the years 2007-2015 according to lates research and the results will be updated here when they are available.

Targets
  1. 1.5 metric tons of total CO2/metric ton Al produced (see EIA Comparison Report)
    1. 0,05 rismínútur í keri á dag (=0,054 CO2-ígildi/tonn áls framleitt) þegar rekstur og ferli hafa náð stöðugleika eftir stillingar í byrjun.
  2. Less than 0.5 % leakage per year.
  3. Use of petrol and diesel.
    1. Fljótsdalur Hydropower Station: To reduce usage of gas and diesel fuel until minimal usage has been defined. After that, a clearer target will be set. Targets for contractors during construction was not defined, but the usage was monitored and information communicated.
    2. Smelter: Reduce consumption of gasoline and diesel by 10% of baseline (to be defined) every 2 years for 10 years (a total of 50% reduction over ten years). This target only applies to the operational phase, but emissions were also monitored during construction.
  4. CO2 capture
    1. Fljótsdalur Hydropower Station: Carbon sequestration equal or greater than what is lost from creation of the reservoir.
    2. Smelter: A minimum of 450 trees planted in Iceland yearly through 2007. Target will be expanded in 2008 and continue through the life of the project.
Possible countermeasures

The companies have a direct impact on their operations by emitting greenhouse gases. Operations seek to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as much as possible and also through mitigation measures such as CO2 capture.

Both Alcoa and Landsvirkjun have environmental policies that can be viewed here:

Fjarðaál's policy statement (Icelandic only)

Landsvirkjun Environment

Changes of indicator

This indicator was originally number 32.1. It was then named Greenhouse Gas Emission and can be found under that number in documents of the project from 2005 and 2006.

The indicator number has been changed twice.

Table 1. Changes to name and number of indicator
Year Nr. Indicator name
2020 2.3.2 Greenhouse gas emission
2007 2.13 Greenhouse Gas Emission

Baseline

The baseline project-related vehicular CO2 emissions is zero, as nothing was released before construction began.

Rationale for Indicator Selection

Climate change is a global issue that calls for attention from governments, businesses, and civil society. Alcoa and Landsvirkjun are committed to limiting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from their operations. Aluminium production is energy intensive. The decision to use hydropower instead of energy from fossil fuels therefore greatly reduces GHG emission compared to what it would have been otherwise. Nevertheless, GHG emission (CO2 and PFCs) is considerable from industrial processes that take place during aluminium production. GHG emission from the operation of the dam is mainly because of emission from reservoirs that takes place when vegetation is and soil is covered with water. Furthermore, some emission might take place due to leakage of SF6 from substations in the transmission system. There is also emission because of the combustion of fossil fuels used for vehicles and engines in both companies.

In 2007 a new Act took effect in Iceland, Act No. 65/2007 on the Emission of Greenhouse Gases. According to the Act, commercial activities that emit large amounts of carbon dioxide equivalents per year, can not operate in the period from 1 January 2008 to 31 December 2009 unless they have acquired a permit for emissions of greenhouse gases for that period. Alcoa Fjardaál falls into that category and the company has acquired emission permits from the Environment Agency of Iceland.

Updated: April 1, 2015

Original Rationale for Indicator Selection

Climate change is a global issue that calls for attention from governments, businesses, and civil society. Alcoa and Landsvirkjun are committed to limiting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from their operations. Aluminium production is energy intensive. The decision to use hydropower instead of energy from fossil fuels therefore greatly reduces GHG emission compared to what it would have been otherwise. Nevertheless, GHG emission (CO2 and PFCs) is considerable from industrial processes that take place during aluminium production. GHG emission from the operation of the dam is minimal. However, some emission might take place due to leakage of SF6 from substations in the transmission system.

Iceland’s obligations under the Kyoto Protocol are to limit GHG emission to a 10% increase compared to 1990 emissions. However, the CO2 emissions from industrial processes fall under a special decision (Decision 14/CP.7) and do not need to be included in total emissions. The Icelandic government does not put any formal restrictions on GHG emissions from aluminium production but cooperates with companies to encourage reduction on voluntary basis.

From phase I/II report on indicators and baseline from April 2005

Further reading

LV-2011-086  Vistferilsgreining raforkuvinnslu með vatnsafli

LV-2011-086 Vistferilsgreining raforkuvinnslu með vatnsafli

2011

Í þessari skýrslu má finna niðurstöður mats á umhverfisáhrifum með aðferðarfræði vistferilsgreiningar fyrir raforkuvinnslu í Fljótsdalsstöð. Greiningin er gerð samkvæmt alþjóðlegu stöðlunum ISO 14040 og 14044 en niðurstöður hennar varpa ljósi á þá þætti í framkvæmd og rekstri stöðvarinnar sem helst valda neikvæðum umhverfisáhrifum. Niðurstöður vistferilsgreiningarinnar sýna að helstu umhverfisáhrifin má rekja til byggingartímans og losunar gróðurhúsalofttegunda frá uppistöðulónum.

You can view more material related to the indicator by clicking on the link above.