The Methane to Markets Partnership Update
Issue 20, August 2010
In this edition:
- Save the Date for the Next Ministerial Meeting
- Partnership Welcomes Indonesia, Peru, and the Republic of Serbia
- China and U.S. Moving Forward With Ventilation Air Methane Projects
- Mexico Environmental Secretary Emphasizes Importance of Methane at International Carbon Offsets Workshop
- Study Begins on Wet Waste in Thailand
- Upcoming Methane to Markets Subcommittee Meetings
- Recent Developments
Save the Date for the Next Ministerial Meeting
On 1 October 2010, the Second Methane to Markets Ministerial meeting will take place in Mexico City, hosted by Mexico's Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT). It will include a Ministerial Declaration, individual country statements, and press opportunities. The event will provide an opportunity not only to showcase the collective success of the Partnership over its first five years, but also to provide a platform to discuss ways to enhance and expand the Partnership over the next five years.
Partnership Welcomes Indonesia, Peru, and the Republic of Serbia
Methane to Markets would like to welcome Indonesia, Peru, and the Republic of Serbia into the Partnership. The Partnership has grown to 35 Partner Countries and the European Commission, all working to reduce methane emissions across the four sectors.
Indonesia has opportunities for methane capture and reuse projects in coal mines and oil and gas systems and is looking to join both these subcommittees. While more than half of its methane emissions come from the agriculture sector, Peru offers opportunities for methane capture and reuse projects within the landfill and oil and gas sectors. The Republic of Serbia is interested in reducing methane emissions from landfills and joins the Landfill Subcommittee to share experiences as well as gain information on implementing landfill gas projects.
China and U.S. Moving Forward With Ventilation Air Methane Projects
Several coal mines in China and the United States have announced the launching of projects using ventilation air methane (VAM) destruction technology. VAM is the largest source of methane emissions at most underground coal mines, so these projects offer significant potential to reduce emissions. Each project is deploying different technologies, some with the potential to generate certified emissions reductions as developed under the Clean Development Mechanism of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
At the Datong Mine within China's Chongquing municipality, Project Network member MEGTEC Systems recently reported that its Chinese subsidiary has been contracted to build the largest plant in the world to capture and eliminate VAM. The system is expected to be operational later this year and is estimated to reduce emissions by 132,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2E) annually. The project also has the potential to generate carbon offset credits. In the next two years, four more Chinese VAM projects are expected to be operational.
In the United States, CONSOL Energy , Inc. and Project Network member Verdeo Group are planning to destroy VAM at the McElroy Mine in West Virginia. The McElroy Mine is the largest underground mine in the United States. Once operational, this project will eliminate an estimated 230,000 MTCO2E annually, roughly the equivalent of 1 percent of total U.S. VAM emissions. Other projects in the United States include Enlow Fork Mine in West Virginia and Jim Walter Resources' No. 4 Mine in Alabama.
Read more in the Coalbed Methane Extra (PDF, 10 pp, 476K) .
Mexico Environmental Secretary Emphasizes Importance of Methane at International Carbon Offsets Workshop
On 4 August 2010, Secretary Juan Rafael Elvira Quesada, head of Mexico's Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, addressed more than 125 participants from Mexico and abroad at a workshop on Mexico's growing carbon credit market. The Climate Action Reserve hosted the workshop in association with Mexico's National Institute for Ecology , California Environmental Protection Agency , the Border Environment Cooperation Commission , and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce .
In his keynote address, Secretary Elvira emphasized the importance of methane as a key greenhouse gas (GHG) and highlighted that 11 percent of Mexico's GHG emissions could be reduced from the methane sector alone (i.e., landfills, agricultural, and wastewater sources). As a Charter Methane to Markets Partner, Mexico has been active in promoting methane capture and use projects in all four sectors. In addition, Mexico has prominently incorporated the Methane to Markets model of developing projects with local and near-term benefits into its national climate change strategy.
Secretary Elvira went on to highlight Mexico's recent efforts to finance the development of state-of-the-art wastewater treatment facilities and engineered landfills to control methane emissions, generate clean energy, and safeguard the environment.
On 1 October 2010, Mexico will host the Second Methane to Markets Ministerial meeting in Mexico City.
Study Begins on Wet Waste in Thailand
In July 2010, the U.S. EPA finalized a macro-analysis report titled Methane Reduction Opportunities in Wet Market Waste Management in Thailand. The effort was launched as an outcome of the Methane to Markets Agriculture Subcommittee meeting in March 2010. The overall objectives of the project are to assess the locations, opportunities, and quantity of methane that could be reduced from wet market waste in Thailand. Wet market waste is created from food markets selling meat, fish, fruits, and vegetables. The project included an initial assessment (Phase 1) followed by a detailed analysis of wet market waste characteristics, site visits and interviews, and identification of an opportunity with high potential for implementing a demonstration project (Phase 2). The Phase 1 study highlighted the following:
- In 2007, Thailand generated approximately 15 million metric tons of municipal solid waste (MSW). Wet markets waste was estimated to represent about 9 percent of MSW.
- Methane emissions from Thailand's market waste management were estimated at 49,250 metric tons of methane per year or approximately one million MTCO2E per year, using the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's default method for solid waste disposal site.
- Based on the results of the Thailand Resource Assessment, wet market waste is one of the sectors with the largest potential for methane emissions reductions.
Phase 2 of the study is underway and will be covered in future newsletters.
Upcoming Methane to Markets Subcommittee Meetings
The Methane to Markets Partnership is planning the next subcommittee meetings to discuss ongoing work and the future of these subcommittees.
The next Agriculture and Landfill Subcommittee meetings will be held jointly on 11 and 12 November 2010 in Venice, Italy. Both Subcommittees will discuss outcomes of the Methane to Markets Ministerial meeting and direction provided by the Steering Committee, which will meet concurrently with the Ministerial meeting. The Landfill Subcommittee will dedicate a full afternoon to better scope out and determine on how best to fit wastewater into the Partnership. All Agriculture Subcommittee members are welcome to join the wastewater discussion.
The next Coal Mines Subcommittee meeting will be held in Beijing, China, on 21 October 2010, where discussions will include next steps for the Subcommittee. The Subcommittee meeting will be held in conjunction with CCII's 10th International Symposium on Coalbed Methane (CBM)/Coal Mine Methane (CMM) on 19-20 October 2010. Topics being covered at the symposium include potential for CBM/CMM projects in China, opportunities and challenges for CBM industrialization in China, and new technologies and applications of CBM development.
The Oil and Gas Subcommittee meeting will be held on 3 November 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana, in conjunction with the U.S. EPA's Natural Gas STAR Annual Implementation Workshop . The Subcommittee will be focusing on country-specific action plans, Subcommittee leadership, and outcomes from the October Ministerial meeting. Register for the Subcommittee meeting .
- Community Methane Model Describes Use of Landfill Gas (LFG) to Power Communities in Brazil. The Community Methane Model is a video that describes the benefits and uses of LFG. The video was created by North Carolina's Appalachian State University to show how LFG could benefit communities in Brazil. The video mentions Methane to Markets as an initiative working to reduce methane emissions.
- Policy Recommendations for CMM Industry in India. In the March/April issue of Energetica India , Pramod Kumar Singh from ICF International reports on the current need for clear policy for CMM in India. The article provides an overview of the coal resources in India and makes recommendations to move the coal sector forward. Read the complete article for a closer look at CMM in India.
- AgStar's Fifth National Conference. In April 2010, participants traveled to Green Bay, Wisconsin, for this two-day conference with more than 45 exhibitors and two visits to local farms. Topics included anaerobic digester performance, financial mechanisms to advance digesters, options for biogas use, and carbon credits and offsets. Doug McKalip, Confidential Assistant to the Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture, presented the keynote address on "USDA Initiatives to Accelerate Adoption of Anaerobic Digesters." For more information, view the full conference agenda and presentations.
- CMM Article Printed in World Coal. In May 2010, Jayne Somers from U.S. EPA and Michael Cote from Project Network member Ruby Canyon Engineering wrote Managing Methane (PDF, 4 pp, 405K) . The article was printed in World Coal and discusses new development and the importance of CMM projects in the United States.
- LFG Workshop Held in Argentina. On 2 June 2010, the basics of landfills and LFG were presented in Buenos Aires. Participants learned about solid waste in Latin American countries as well as gas collection and distribution systems, specific LFG-fueled projects, financing, and incentives. For more information, view the agenda and presentations.