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2008 Press Releases
November 17, 2008 - Clearinghouse Opens Doors to Methane Reductions in India
The Methane to Markets program helped India open the doors to a Coal Mine/Coalbed Methane (CMM/CBM) Clearinghouse, or information center, that will support methane emission reductions and aid in the global fight against climate change. The CMM/CBM Clearinghouse is the first of its kind in India and will be instrumental in facilitating the development of methane recovery and use projects. The Clearinghouse, located at the Central Mine Planning and Design Institute in Ranchi, will be the initial point of contact for domestic and international investors interested in the development of coalbed and coal mine methane projects in India. It will also help develop and promote the CMM/CBM market by providing information on technical, economic, financial, and policy issues to potential investors and service providers.
Kickoff event info: www.IndiaCBM-CMM.govtools.us
September 16, 2008 - U.S. helps Chinese coal mines find ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
EPA, through the Coalbed Methane Outreach Program (CMOP), is helping Chinese coal mines find ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by conducting three full-scale feasibility studies at the Liuzhuang mine in Anhui Province, a group of six mines in the Songzao coal basin in Chongqing, and a group of six mines in the Hebi region of Henan Province. The studies will assess the technical and economic viability of implementing methane recovery and utilization projects. The results will be summarized along with project implementation recommendations in three comprehensive final reports. The photo below shows an existing pumping station at one of the mines under study that extracts methane from the underground coal seam in advance of and during mining.
underground seam in advance of and during mining.
All three studies support the goals of the Methane to Markets Partnership, a public/private partnership launched in 2004 that reduces greenhouse gas emissions by promoting the cost-effective, near-term recovery and use of methane, while providing clean energy to markets around the world. Two of three sites under study were featured as project opportunities at the 2007 Partnership Expo in Beijing, China. EPA’s assistance is also part of the U.S. commitment to help develop up to 15 coal mine methane (CMM) projects under the second US-China Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED). The U.S. is very committed to working with China to encourage more CMM project development. The feasibility study for the Hebi mines is also considered a flagship project of the Coal Mining Task Force under the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate.
A feasibility study is a critical step in the CMM project development process and will include an analysis of methane resource data, a market assessment for the produced methane, an evaluation of degasification and methane utilization technologies, a technical analysis with preliminary engineering design work, an estimate of project capital and operating costs, and a full economic and financial analysis with cash flow projections. Typically, a feasibility study at a coal mine requires significant resources, both financial and organizational, and can take up to a year to complete. The analysis provided by CMOP technical contractors Advanced Resources International (ARI) and Raven Ridge Resources (RRR) will allow these sites to explore ways to capture and use their methane to benefit their local communities and the environment.
According to the Methane to Markets International Coal Mine Methane Projects Database, China is already operating or developing 40 projects that recover CMM and utilize it for power generation, town gas distribution, vehicle fuel and other end-uses. Data provided by the China Coal Information Institute (CCII) (PDF) (36 pp, 866K) indicates that 22 percent of methane liberated from Chinese coal mines is captured by drainage systems, and 35 percent of the captured methane is utilized productively. Therefore, around 65 percent — 2.09 billion cubic meters or 73.8 billion cubic feet — of captured methane remains available for productive utilization.