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GDF SUEZ : Jirau : The world’s largest renewable CDM project obtains registration at the United Nations

05/24/2013 | 11:57am EDT

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) registered the Jirau Hydropower Plant on May 17, 2013 under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).

The renewable energy produced by Jirau will allow a reduction of up to six million tons of CO2 emissions annually as it will reduce the need to dispatch (or build new) fossil fueled power plants.

The Jirau hydropower plant is the largest renewable energy plant ever registered and it demonstrates that the Clean Development Mechanism, when applied in tandem with national greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation and enabling policies, is capable of promoting major infrastructure projects.

Gérard Mestrallet, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of GDF SUEZ declared: "The Jirau CDM project stands as a key element in Brazil's efforts to promote sustainable economic growth based on renewable power. This recognition by the United Nations illustrates the strong commitment of GDF SUEZ to develop renewable energy around the world and in Brazil."

The Jirau project is a key element in Brazil's National Policy on Climate Change, which promotes expansion based on hydroelectricity and other renewable technologies, such as wind and biomass. This policy encourages a balance between low GHG emissions, energy security, environmental protection and social development.

GDF SUEZ has been a pioneer of CDM since its participation as a founding member of the Prototype Carbon Fund in 2001 and is actively using the program to promote clean energy investments. To date, the Group has registered a portfolio of 15 CDM projects in Asia, Africa and Latin America, using wind, water, geothermal and biomass as sustainable sources of renewable energy.  The CDM registration is effective as of December 26, 2012, which enables the project to sell its credits to the European emission trading scheme (EU ETS).

About the Jirau Project

The Jirau project, which is under construction on the Madeira River in the state of Rondônia in Brazil, is currently jointly owned by GDF SUEZ (60%)(1), Eletrosul (20%) and Chesf (20%). Designed as a run-of-the-river facility with a small reservoir, the plant will have an installed capacity of 3,750 MW and potential to meet the electricity demand of 10 million Brazilian households. The commissioning of the project is expected to start in mid 2013.

About CDM

The CDM was set up by the Kyoto Protocol as one of the flexibility mechanisms to complement emissions trading between developed countries that accepted targets as listed under Annex 1 of the Protocol(2). Carbon credits from CDM are granted when companies from such developed Annex 1 countries undertake investments enabling the reduction of CO2 emissions in developing countries to support their clean and sustainable development. As the emission reductions obtained can be used to meet part of the obligations, the CDM is a first step towards a global carbon market.

About GDF SUEZ in Latin America

GDF SUEZ Energy Latin America provides innovative energy and gas solutions in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Panama and Peru, supporting this emerging continent in its economic growth, respecting the environment and providing essential services to its people. It has 3,300 employees in the region and 12.2 GW capacity in operation and an additional 4.7 GW under construction. Two thirds of the electricity it generates is renewable. It also transports, distributes and sells gas in addition to regasifying LNG and has a share in more than 45 Mm3 per day in natural gas operations through generation companies, marketing and infrastructure operators. For more information, please visitwww.gdfsuezla.com

(1) On May 13, GDF SUEZ and Mitsui announced a partnership where Mitsui will take a 20% equity interest in the project, expanding the long-term partnership between the two Groups. The closing of the transaction is expected to occur during the second half of 2013, upon satisfaction of certain conditions, including obtaining approvals from Brazilian authorities (ANEEL - Electricity Energy Regulatory Agency and CADE - Brazilian anti-trust entity) and lenders (BNDES and local commercial banks).

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