Methane International

Issue 20, August 2010

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

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Closes Its Fourth Round of Grant Funding

On 29 July 2010, the deadline passed for proposals to be submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (U.S. EPA's) fourth round of Methane to Markets grant funding. The U.S. EPA is planning to announce up to 35 awards at $100,000 to $750,000 per award later this year. Grants will go toward projects and activities designed to advance methane recovery and use as a clean energy source.

Visit U.S. EPA's website Exiting Global Methane Initiative for more information on this solicitation and past awards.

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.

Flag of Indonesia Flag of Peru Flag of Serbia

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 Exiting Global Methane Initiative, 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) Exiting Global Methane Initiative.

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 Exiting Global Methane Initiative hosted the workshop in association with Mexico's National Institute for Ecology Exiting Global Methane Initiative, California Environmental Protection Agency Exiting Global Methane Initiative, the Border Environment Cooperation Commission Exiting Global Methane Initiative, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Exiting Global Methane Initiative.

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:

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) Exiting Global Methane Initiative 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 Exiting Global Methane Initiative. The Subcommittee will be focusing on country-specific action plans, Subcommittee leadership, and outcomes from the October Ministerial meeting. Register for the Subcommittee meeting Exiting Global Methane Initiative.

Recent Developments

Send in your announcement for our next issue. Also, visit the news and events page for information on past Methane to Markets gatherings.

Global Methane Initiative (GMI)
Leading methane action since 2004