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Whein Town Landfill Gas Recovery

$3.5 million
Solid Waste Management
Summary of Proposed Guarantee

This summary was updated on May 23, 2011 to reflect the prospective guarantee holder's request for breach of contract cover. Because breach of contract cover is not available under MIGA's Small Investment Program, this project will now be processed following MIGA regular underwriting procedures.

This summary covers an investment by Gazprom Marketing and Trading Joint Venture (GMT) of the United Kingdom in the Whein Town Landfill Gas Recovery project in Liberia. The investor has applied for a MIGA guarantee of $3.5 million for a period of up to 10 years against the risks of transfer restriction, expropriation, war and civil disturbance, and breach of contract.

The project consists of the construction and operation of facilities for the capturing and flaring of methane gas at the existing Whein Town Landfill. Flaring methane will transform the methane gas into less potent carbon dioxide, and since the global warming potential of methane is 21 times higher than that of carbon dioxide, the project will significantly reduce the landfill's emissions. The landfill covers an area of approximately 40 hectares. The facility opened in 2008 with funding from the World Bank's International Development Association (IDA). It is estimated to receive 350 tons of waste per day from Monrovia and its surroundings. The Monrovia City Corporation has contracted out the operations of Whein Town Landfill to an independent contractor. Pöyry GmbH, a global engineering consulting firm, has been contracted to act as the Design and Supervising Engineer for Whein Town Landfill. It is a managed landfill which is compressed and capped daily. GMT's investment of $0.7 million will finance the installation of approximately 70 gas collection wells at the site.

GMT's financing will be in the form of prepayments for Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) from this project which may be traded as carbon credits under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in accordance with the Kyoto Protocol. The project has been validated under the UNFCCC for the Clean Development Mechanism which allows industrialized countries to invest in emissions reductions. The primary risk to be mitigated through MIGA's coverage is Liberia's obligation under the Letter of Approval validating the CERs.

Environmental Categorization

The project is a Category B under MIGA's Policy on Social and Environmental Sustainability. Click here to view the Environmental and Social Review Summary.

Development Impact
The capture and flaring of methane gas at the landfill will have significant positive environmental, social, and economic impacts and will contribute to Liberia's progress towards sustainable development. In addition to the environmental hazards associated with methane gas, these gases also pose a fire hazard at landfill sites, which is a health and safety risk, and also result in poor air quality which affects people working at the site as well as those in the surrounding area. The project will also introduce best practice for municipal waste management, including transfer of new technologies and know-how to local communities, and contribute to job creation.

The proposed project further develops the Whein Town landfill which was supported under the IDA-financed Emergency Monrovia Urban Sanitation Project. It is also aligned with MIGA's strategic priorities of supporting investments into IDA-eligible and conflict-affected countries.