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2010 International News
December 16, 2010 – Global Methane Initiative (GMI) Side Event at COP 16, United Nations Climate Change Conference
On December 8, 2010, more than 60 people attended a GMI organized side-event in Cancun, Mexico. The event was hosted by Mexico's Ministry of Environment (SEMARNAT) and was introduced by SEMARNAT Undersecretary Sandra Herrera. The session featured speakers from Mexico, Brazil, China and the United States, highlighting the successes of these important GMI Partner Countries. In addition, an overview was given on the importance of targeting methane and how GMI will build on the success of the Methane to Markets Partnership. The GMI Project Network was also represented by a number of speakers who talked about technologies and projects in the Agriculture, Coal, Landfill and Oil and Gas sectors. The side event took place at the Green Solutions Center, a forum targeting private sector innovation and involvement in finding solutions to climate change.
December 9, 2010 – Players Change Roles in CBM Development in China
China's Ministry of Commerce recently announced that three state-owned companies will be allowed to cooperate with foreign companies in developing coalbed methane (CBM) resources in China. The State Council has granted approval to allow China National Petroleum Corp., China Petrochemical Corp. (Sinopec Corp.), and Henan Provincial Coal Seam Gas Development & Utilization Company to work with foreign enterprises to develop CBM projects in China. Previously, the China United Coalbed Methane Company was the sole company with authority to develop CBM projects with foreign companies. China's 2006 – 2010 CBM Development Plan aims for 10 billion cubic meters per year of CBM production by 2010. Read China approves 3 companies to work with foreign enterprises on CBM .
Separately, state-owned China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) recently announced its plans to buy a 50 percent stake in China United Coalbed Methane Corp Ltd as part of plans to grow its coalbed methane business. CNOOC had previously said that it was looking to grow its coalbed methane business and that it was considering using the unconventional gas resources in the northeastern province of Shanxi to supply regional clients in the form of pipeline gas, compressed natural gas, or liquefied natural gas. Read CNOOC eyes acquisition of coalbed firm .
October 21, 2010 – Combating Fugitive Emissions a Priority: Rio
Rio Tinto energy chief executive Doug Ritchie told the Coaltrans conference in Brisbane August 2010 that the company regarded energy efficiency and carbon reduction as vital issues that should be considered at all its operations and associated infrastructure. "At Rio Tinto we have already invested significantly in the economics around climate change," he said. "Carbon costs are taken into account in all of Rio Tinto's investment proposals and the company has conducted abatement curve analysis at every one of its mines, and then revisited it." Individual companies are also doing work on fugitive gas emission control. The Rio Tinto-managed Mount Thorley Warkworth coal mine, in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales, is trialing the capture and flaring of fugitive coal seam methane prior to mining.
Rio Tinto's coal operations will be investing in research and development to curtail fugitive emissions of methane gas as part of its broader strategy of controlling greenhouse gas emissions.
September 24, 2010 – Upcoming Global Methane Initiative Meetings and Events
The Global Methane Initiative Coal Subcommittee will meet on 21 October 2010 in Beijing, China, in conjunction with the 10th International Symposium on CMM and CBM in China. The Subcommittee will focus on the coal sector's role in the future of the Partnership following the October 1 Ministerial Meeting in Mexico City . The Symposium attracts speakers on CMM issues and developments from all over the world. For more information including how to register please see the Global Methane Initiative Coal Subcommittee meeting site .
The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Ad Hoc Group of Experts on Coal Mine Methane is holding its 6th Session meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, on 10 – 11 October 2010.
See the Initiative website for more information about the Global Methane Initiative .
September 17, 2010 – Global Methane Initiative Ministerial Meeting: 1 October 2010
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa P. Jackson will join ministers from the Global Methane Initiative countries in Mexico City on Oct. 1. At the meeting, the United States will work with partner nations to encourage global action to reduce methane emission sources and identify possible additional resources to achieve this goal. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas (GHG) that is 20 times more powerful than carbon dioxide in warming the atmosphere.
The meeting, co-hosted by EPA and Mexico's Ministry of Environment, will also celebrate the accomplishments of the partnership, which include supporting more than 300 methane emission reduction projects around the world. The projects, when fully developed, will reduce GHG emissions in an amount equivalent to annual emissions from 11.4 million cars. The ministers are expected to reaffirm their commitment to strong global action on methane for an additional five years.
The Global Methane Initiative reduces GHG emissions by promoting cost-effective recovery and use of methane through global projects. Methane projects are also important because they provide new sources of clean energy, while improving air and water quality. Since 2004, the partnership has proven to be one of the most effective international efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, growing from 14 to 36 country partners, representing nearly 70 percent of global methane emissions today. More than 1,000 public and private sector organizations have also signed on to date.
The partnership has leveraged nearly $360 million in investment from private companies and financial institutions. EPA estimates that if currently available methane reduction technologies were fully implemented globally, annual GHG emissions reductions equivalent to the annual emissions from over 280 million cars could be achieved by 2020 at relatively low cost. Achieving these reductions could make a significant impact on climate change by helping to stabilize or even lower global atmospheric concentrations of methane.
August 26, 2010 – Advanced Mining for Sustainable Development Conference: September 23-25, 2010
With support from the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Vietnam, Vietnam Union of Science & Technology Associations and World Mining Congress, the International Mining Conference on "Advanced Mining for Sustainable Development" is being organized by the Vietnam Mining Science and Technology Association, Vietnam National Coal-Mineral Industries Group, Association of Mining Engineers and Technicians (Poland), and Hanoi University of Mining and Geology. The conference will be held September 23-25, 2010 in Ha Long Bay, a World Heritage site located in Vietnam's biggest coal field. In addition, the 91st Meeting of the World Mining Congress International Organizing Committee will be held 24 September at the same location. As part of the conference, USEPA/CMOP will be giving a presentation on coal mine methane recovery and utilization. Access International Mining Conference 2010 in Vietnam (PDF) (4 pp, 100K) for more information.
August 12, 2010 – Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) Methodology for Coal Mine Methane Projects Revised to Include Surface Mines
There has been an exciting new development for international coal mine methane (CMM) projects that are eligible for carbon offsets through the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). At its 55th meeting, held on July 26-30, 2010, the CDM Executive Board approved a revision to the consolidated methodology used for coal mine methane projects (ACM0008) to include projects that capture and destroy methane from open-cast (surface) coal mines. Previously, ACM0008 was only applicable to emission reductions from active, underground coal mines. According to the revised methodology (version 7), methane captured in advance of opencast or surface mine operations and subsequently destroyed can now be counted as emission reductions.
The revised version (7) of the consolidated methodology can be found on the UNFCCC website .
July 29, 2010 – Coal Mine Methane (CMM) to Methanol
Coal mine methane is a potential feedstock for methanol production and may be economic for stranded gas. China has a CMM-to-Methanol project planned in Shaanxi and it is likely other countries will be examining methanol conversion technology. For more information check out Coal Mine Methane Use in Methanol Production (PDF) (3 pp, 289K).
June 24, 2010 – Chinese Coal Mines Plan World's Largest CMM to LNG Project
Chongqing Energy Investment Group (CQEIG), a state-owned enterprise in Chongqing municipality, China, has selected Towngas, a listed company in Hong Kong, as a joint venture partner to implement the world's largest coal mine methane (CMM) purification and liquefaction project. The project will be developed at the mines of CQEIG's majority-owned subsidiary, the Songzao Coal and Electricity Company. The project is based on the "Feasibility Study of CMM Utilization for Songzao Coal and Electricity Company Coal Mines," funded by US EPA in support of the international Global Methane Initiative and carried out by Raven Ridge Resources, Incorporated.
Total investment in this project is expected to be 530 million RMB (US$77.9 million). Agreements for land required for the project have been negotiated, and the project is expected to start construction by the end of June 2010, with Phase I to be completed at the end of 2011. Ultimately, the project will purify and liquefy 110 million cubic meters of CMM. Annual sales of liquefied natural gas (LNG) are expected to reach 275 million RMB (US$40.4 million).
View the Feasibility Study for the Songzao Mines (PDF) (150 pp, 7.5MB)
June 10, 2010 – MEGTEC Systems to build world's largest coal mine ventilation methane emissions abatement system in China
MEGTEC Systems, a U.S.–based firm, announced that its China subsidiary has been contracted to build the largest plant in the world to capture and eliminate ventilation air methane (VAM) from the Datong coal mine in China's Chongqing municipality.
Plans call for the Datong mine VAM system to be operational later this year. It will utilize MEGTEC's VOCSIDIZER® technology to eliminate about 97 percent of the methane within the captured exhaust stream before it enters the atmosphere. The system is expected to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by up to 200,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent per year. In addition, energy released in the process will be used to heat water for nearby buildings.
The agreement was formally signed between MEGTEC and a three-way joint venture partnership comprised of AES Climate Solutions Asia (a wholly owned subsidiary of AES Corporation), Shenzhen Dongjiang Environmental Renewable Power Company Ltd., and Songzao Coal and Chongqing Electricity Company Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Chongqing Energy Investment Group.
The VOCSIDIZER has been used at a coal mine at the ZhengZhou Mining Group in China's Henan Province since that project's commissioning in 2008. That system, a single-unit installation, processes around 60,000 normal cubic meters per hour of ventilation air, and also generates hot water for local use.
Four VOCSIDIZER units have been operating at BHP Billiton's West Cliff Colliery in Australia for three years. That project converts the coal mine's VAM into high-grade, superheated steam that operates a 6 Megawatt steam turbine, generating electricity for the local power grid.
May 27, 2010 – Global Methane Initiative Coal Subcommittee – 2010 Fall Meeting Set for Beijing
China will host the next meeting of the Global Methane Coal Subcommittee in Beijing on 28 October 2010, in conjunction with the 10th International Symposium on CMM / CBM, to be held on 26 – 27 October.
The Symposium is being co-sponsored by US Environmental Protection Agency and China State Administration of Work Safety, and organized by China Coal Information Institute. The Symposium will address a number of topics including technologies for effective drainage, recovery, and utilization of CBM and CMM, including ventilation air methane. The Symposium will also address policy, regulatory, and financing issues affecting CMM project development in China.
The Coal Subcommittee meeting, to be held on 28 October at the same venue, will feature updates on global CMM project developments and technologies. It will also provide an update on the future of the Global Methane Initiative. There is not a separate registration fee for this event. Registration and information about the M2M Coal Subcommittee meeting will be posted shortly on the Global Methane website .
About the Global Methane Initiative
Removing fugitive methane gas from underground coal mines and using it in profitable and practical ways can improve worker safety, enhance mine productivity, increase revenues, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Global Methane Initiative is fostering international collaboration to advance methane capture and use projects that bring more gas to market.
May 20, 2010 – Methane Flaring Underway at Anglo American Thermal Coal in South Africa
Anglo Thermal Coal CEO Norman Mbazima says that the R9-million project, at the company's New Denmark colliery near Standerton, involves the incorporation of two mobile flares into the mine's methane drainage system. Mbazima describes the project as a "proactive technological response" towards minimizing the company's carbon footprint.
Flaring renders the methane gas &ndash which is released during coal mining &ndash 18.5 times less environmentally harmful. The enclosed Swiss-designed mobile flare – a joint New Denmark-Gemini Carbon concept (and a Clean Development Mechanism first) – completely burns all the methane sent to it.
A small diesel blower delivers the methane to four flaring nozzles where the gas is mixed with air to a concentration that enables it to be safely burnt. The flare's communication system is solar-powered.
April 22, 2010 – New Articles on Coal Mine Methane in India
For the complete Energitica newsletter, go to
April 15, 2010 – CNOOC Signs Coal Seam Gas LNG Deal with BG Group
China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC) has signed an agreement with BG Group of Australia for the purchase of 3.6 million tons per year of LNG for the next 20 years. The deal is worth approximately US$40 billion. The two companies have co-operated together on projects for the past four years. CNOOC will purchase 5% of BG's interest in coal seam gas reserves at Surat Basin in Queensland and will also become a 10% equity investor in QCLNG liquefaction Train 1. The two companies will form a consortium to construct two LNG ships.
Coal-seam gas—trapped stores of methane hundreds of meters below the Earth's surface—is one of the world's hottest energy plays. On March 22, 2010, Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSB.LN) and PetroChina agreed to buy most of the Australian assets of coal seam gas producer Arrow Energy Ltd. (AOE.AU), in a US$3.15 billion deal (subject to regulatory and shareholder approval).
The increasing global interest in coal-seam gas, particularly where the gas is super cooled into LNG, reflects the shrinking access Western companies have to conventional natural gas reserves, as well as the environmental benefits of coal seam gas. However, technical hurdles must be overcome, as coal-seam gas hasn't been turned into LNG for export from Australia before.
The deal is the first fully termed sale and purchase agreement for the supply of LNG from coal seam gas. There have been estimates that Queensland holds enough coal seam gas to power the state for over 1000 years.
For more information, go to http://english.capital.gr/news.asp?id=931995
April 8, 2010 – Two New International CMM Publications Online
Best Practice Guidance for Effective Methane Drainage and Use in Coal Mines
Published by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the Global Methane Initiative, this document provides a genuine contribution to improving mine safety practices at active underground coal mines, by supporting safer mining practices to reduce fatalities, injuries, and property losses. It also encourages the use of coal mine methane (CMM) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and utilize otherwise-wasted energy resources.
An advance copy of the publication can be found on the UNECE web site at:
Feasibility Study for CMM Drainage and Utilization at Liuzhuang Coal Mine, Huainan Coal Field
EPA's CMOP has completed its second full-scale feasibility study of CMM recovery and utilization potential at a Chinese coal mine. A feasibility study is a critical step in the CMM project development process and includes an analysis of methane resource data, a market assessment for the produced methane, an evaluation of degasification and methane utilization technologies, technical analysis with preliminary engineering design work, and a full economic and financial analysis.
The study can be found on the CMOP web site at:
April 1, 2010 – Global Methane Initiative Expo Proceedings Now Available
The 2nd Global Methane Initiative Expo was held from 2-5 March 2010, at the Taj Palace Hotel in Delhi, India. The Expo was a great success, with more than 500 delegates from 36 different countries in attendance.
The four–day event featured methane project site tours, high–level plenary sessions and technical and policy break–out sessions for all four M2M Subcommittees (coal, oil and gas, landfill and agriculture).
More than 150 international project opportunities — 33 from the coal sector — with the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 17 MMTCO2e annually were showcased in two exhibition halls.
Conference proceedings from the Expo are now available online at: http://www.globalmethane.org/expo/proceedings.htm .
March 25, 2010 – EPA Releases RFP for Technical and Outreach Support for Reducing Methane Emissions from Coal Mines
U.S. EPA has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for technical services for coal mine methane emissions project opportunities that support U.S. EPA's Office of Air and Radiation (OAR), Office of Atmospheric Programs (OAP), Climate Change Division (CCD) Non-CO2 Programs Branch. EPA's Coalbed Methane Outreach Program (CMOP) is a voluntary program within the Climate Change Division (CCD). CCD works to assess and address global climate change and the associated risks to human health and the environment.
The intended work will require assistance to CMOP to prepare analyses and assessments of coal mine methane project opportunities, technologies, and end uses. The goal is to facilitate the development and implementation of projects in the U.S., other industrialized countries, countries with economies in transition, and developing countries. Internationally, there is a particular focus on key Global Methane Initiative countries such as China, India, Ukraine, and Poland.
In order to receive consideration, all proposals must be received at EPA by 12 April 2010, 1:30 p.m. EDT. To view the RFP and see proposal instructions, please visit the U.S. EPA web site at: http://www.epa.gov/oamhpod1/admin_placement/1011067/index.htm
March 23, 2010 – EPA Methane to Market's Grant Solicitation Date Extended to July 2010
U.S. EPA has extended the deadline for proposals to fund projects and activities that advance methane recovery and use. The deadline for this major request for proposals (RFP) to support the Global Methane Initiative is now 1:00 p.m. EDT on 29 July 2010.
The total estimated amount for this competitive funding opportunity is up to $5 million USD. EPA expects to award up to thirty-five cooperative agreements through this announcement, ranging in value from approximately $100,000 to $750,000 USD per award. The estimated project period for awards resulting from this solicitation is October 2010 through October 2013.
EPA seeks proposals from organizations including international governments, not-for-profit organizations, states, local governments, and universities. Successful proposals will support the Partnership's Action Plans and advance project development in the following Global Methane Initiative Countries: Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, China, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Georgia, Ghana, India, Kazakhstan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Mongolia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Russia, Thailand, Ukraine, and Vietnam.
In order to receive consideration, all proposals, however transmitted, must be received at EPA by 29 July 2010, 1:00 p.m. EDT. See EPA's Global Methane Grant Solicitation page (www.epa.gov/methanetomarkets/grants.htm) for additional information on how to apply.
February 25, 2010 – UNECE and M2M Present CMM Best Practice Guidance Document
The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the Global Methane Initiative will present their Best Practice Guidance for Effective Methane Drainage and Use in Coal Mines at the M2M Partnership Expo, in New Delhi, India from 2 – 5 March 2010.
This "Best Practice Guidance" document provides a genuine contribution to improving mine safety practices at active underground coal mines, by supporting safer mining practices to reduce fatalities, injuries, and property losses. It also encourages the use of coal mine methane (CMM) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and utilize otherwise-wasted energy resources.
For further information, please see the UNECE press release:
http://www.unece.org/highlights/unece_weekly/weekly_2010/UNECE_Weekly_2010-359.pdf (PDF) (2 pp, 631K)
February 18, 2010 – EU Coal Mine Methane Funding Opportunity
The European Commission (CORDIS) has issued a call for proposals under "Extending the Value Chain for GHG Emissions". The deadline is 04 March 2010 at 17:00:00 (Brussels local time). The scope covers research and demonstration work to develop strategies and technologies to extract methane in a controlled way from coal mines and to verify the possibility of sustainable commercial exploitation for energy usage of these resources. Work under this topic can address new methods of extracting methane from coal mines (e.g. through enhanced methane recovery through CO2 injection) or can address the use and adjustment of already known extraction technologies in emerging economies. The target audience is research institutes, universities, industry, and potential end-users. The total budget is EUR 20 million. To be eligible, there must be at least three "legal entities" established in different EU Member States or Associated countries. The entities must be independent of each other. The active participation of partners from emerging economies and the demonstration of the technologies in these countries would be highly beneficial and will likely increase the impact of the project. It is envisaged that a maximum of one project could be funded under this topic.
For further information and application materials, go to http://cordis.europa.eu/fp7/dc/index.cfm?fuseaction=UserSite.FP7DetailsCallPage&call_id=264#infopack
January 14, 2010 – Global Methane Initiative Expo: Special Hotel Rate Expires on 15 January 2010
The second international Global Methane Initiative Expo will take place from 2-5 March 2010 at the Taj Palace Hotel in Delhi, India. The special rate for Expo attendees — 12,500 INR per night — expires on 15 January 2010. Please note that normal hotel rates start at 17,000 INR per night.
The cutoff date for hotel reservations will not be extended, so please make your reservations today! You may cancel your room reservation without penalty before 29 January 2010.
To reserve a hotel room online, go to the Expo Venue page at http://www.globalmethane.org/expo/expo-venue.htm and follow the links to reserve your room.
For more information on the Expo, please visit our web site .
An updated agenda (PDF) (23 pp, 450K) is also now available with links to the sector-specific technical and policy sessions.
To register for the 2010 Expo, please visit the online registration page .