Methane International

Issue 23, April 2011

Administrative Support Group Welcomes Monica Shimamura

MonicaThe Administrative Support Group (ASG) introduces Monica Shimamura as its new Co-Director. Monica joins Henry Ferland in providing overall coordination to the Global Methane Initiative (GMI). She comes from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) Stratospheric Protection Division, where she collaborated with various agencies, stakeholders, and regional offices to implement the domestic side of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer through the Clean Air Act. Before that, Monica served as an air enforcement officer in U.S. EPA's New York regional office. She has lived and worked in Australia, Belize, Japan, and the United Kingdom. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, attending music performances, horseback riding, and scuba diving.

Monica is looking forward to working with GMI organizations as they move forward on projects that are reducing and recovering methane as an energy source. Monica can be reached at or (202) 343-9337.

First Middle Eastern Partner Country

Jordan flagGMI welcomed Jordan, the first Middle Eastern nation to become a Partner Country, on 22 April 2011. Delegates from the country will participate in the Agriculture and Landfill Subcommittees as well as on the Wastewater Task Force. Based on data from the U.S. EPA's Global Anthropogenic Emissions of Non-CO2 Greenhouse Gases (PDF, 274 pp, 4 MB) Exiting Global Methane Initiative report, Jordan's 2010 estimated anthropogenic methane emissions totaled 2.4 million metric tons carbon dioxide equivalent (MMTCO2E). Landfills represent more than 40 percent of Jordan's anthropogenic methane emissions—1.02 MMTCO2E—and an additional 35 percent (0.83 MMTCO2E) come from the agriculture (manure management), oil and gas, and wastewater sectors.

The country's National Center for Research and Development/Energy Research Program Exiting Global Methane Initiative, which performs studies, research, and experimental projects in new and renewable energy sources, will be integral to GMI participation. The Center will contribute to creating a biogas industry and market, developing a Biogas Master Plan through 2020, and building biogas technology capacity. The Center will also embark on a country-wide survey of organic waste producers (e.g., cattle and poultry manure, municipal solid waste, wastewater, agriculture waste), as well as calculating Jordan's greenhouse gas and methane contribution to climate change. The ASG looks forward to Jordan's participation in the Initiative.

Upcoming Subcommittee Meetings

In response to popular demand, the Agriculture Subcommittee, Coal Mines Subcommittee, Landfill Subcommittee, and Oil & Gas Systems Subcommittee will host their next meetings by webinar. Through webinar meetings, GMI hopes to support greater participation by both delegates and Project Network members. The Landfill Subcommittee webinar will take place 1 June 2011, and the Agriculture Subcommittee webinar will take place on 14 June 2011, while dates for the other subcommittee webinars are still being confirmed.

Meeting information will be available in upcoming weeks. ASG will send an email announcing details via its listserve. To register for the webinar, simply click on the link and follow the prompts. You'll receive a confirmation email with all the necessary information and instructions for logging on to attend the meeting, which will be conducted using presentations on the Internet and an associated teleconference. GMI hopes that the webinar format will allow each sector to conduct necessary business, while reducing participant travel expenses and carbon footprint. All subcommittees are planning to follow up the webinar with in-person meetings later this year. The dates and locations of those meetings will be announced shortly.

GMI Spotlight: Nigeria Advancing Sustainable Solid Waste Management

photo of woman at podiumNigeria is the most populated country in Africa, and many of its rural and urban areas lack access to proper waste disposal sites. Moreover, Nigerians have to cope with health hazards and environmental degradation associated with these uncontrolled dump sites. However, one woman, Achenyo Idachaba, the founder of consulting firm Greennovative Chain Exiting Global Methane Initiative is promoting the development of sustainable solid waste management practices. Both the public and environment can benefit from improved landfill management and the recovery and use of methane as a reliable and local energy source.

With Greennovative Chain, Achenyo donated her time and materials to conduct assessments of four landfills in Ibadan, Nigeria. Her analysis, shared at the 2010 Partnership Expo, indicates that two of the landfills could reduce 299,000 MTCO2E emissions and generate close to one megawatt of energy onsite. Now she's working as a subcontractor on a GMI grant to conduct the first national landfill survey for Nigeria.

This grant, received by Rutgers University in 2009, builds on a previous GMI grant that conducted preliminary site visits and assessments at landfills in two Nigerian cities, Lagos and Abuja. In order to complete a national landfill inventory, Rutgers contracted Achenyo to collect data, targeting landfills in six other major population centers in Nigeria. The goal of the project, as explained by David Specca, Assistant Director at the EcoComplex Exiting Global Methane Initiative at Rutgers University, is "to help local officials turn dump sites into assets." The first phase of research entailed meeting with waste management authorities and landfill managers in Akure, Jos, Kano, Kaduna, Zaria, and Port Harcourt to explain the project, and distribute a survey designed to collect information for the GMI International Landfill Database. After data collection, Achenyo conducted preliminary site assessments at 26 dumpsites and shared results in presentation forums with landfill managers to underscore the potential for recovering landfill gas (LFG) for energy as well as the economic development benefits.

photo of landfillThe research has taken Achenyo across Nigeria, where she has seen "a keen and genuine interest among officials at the local, state, and national levels to better understand the benefits of LFG collection systems." The challenges are significant. Several of the state waste management authorities lack the optimum number of vehicles and infrastructure to collect solid waste, resulting in many illegal uncontrolled dumps. Most of these sites lack bottom liners to protect groundwater or soil to cover the waste to protect the public from epidemic outbreaks. Open fires and smoke are another health and safety hazard found at the various sites. Landfill managers need training about proper disposal practices and resources to install appropriate infrastructure and remediation to facilitate LFG capture and recovery. However, small measurable steps are taking place thanks to Achenyo and GMI's support. Achenyo's meetings with local officials started a dialogue on the benefits of LFG energy recovery. The next step is to explore partnerships with private companies to begin to improve disposal sites and recover LFG. Ideally, LFG energy recovery will provide a revenue stream through the sale of power and carbon emission reductions through Carbon Financing such as the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) as established under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. In addition, Rutgers hopes to train Nigerian students to manage businesses at landfills, such as greenhouses that can utilize LFG as a source for heat and energy.

Developing LFG energy projects requires intensive ground work and collaboration, resources offered through GMI. Nigeria has taken an active role in GMI's efforts since 2004, when it became one of the first countries to join the initiative. Achenyo's efforts exemplify the dedication of many people currently working in the field trying to create a reliable, clean energy source and improve local living conditions.

Project Development Opportunities for Developers or Investors

Stay Tuned for 2011 Grants!

The U.S. EPA will be continuing its commitment to support projects that reduce methane emissions. Stay tuned for information about the 2011 grant solicitation for GMI projects, soon to be made available on the GMI website.

Agricultural Resource Assessments
GMI supported the completion of livestock and agro-industry resource assessments in twelve countries. The objective is to identify and characterize the potential for incorporating anaerobic digestion into waste management systems, to reduce methane emissions, and to provide a renewable source of energy. Based on the resource assessments done so far, more than 54 MMTCO2E could be reduced by implementing anaerobic digestion systems into the agricultural waste sector (see Table 1). These resource assessments, together with feasibility studies and demonstration projects, will help serve as the basis for future country-level policy planning and development of an agricultural methane implementation plan. Recently completed country-wide resource assessments are listed below. All country assessments can be found under the Agriculture Subcommittee's Additional Resources section.

Table 1


Total Carbon Emission Reductions







Dominican Republic
















Are you interested in any of these projects? If you are, please contact the ASG or the Agriculture Subcommittee co-chairs to learn how you might be able to reduce methane emission through the above projects.

LFG Assessment Reports
GMI is conducting landfill-specific assessments at pre-screened landfills identified as having good potential for an LFG energy project. In March 2011, GMI completed LFG assessment reports for several landfills in China. These landfills are ready for developers to take to the next stage of development:

All the landfill assessment reports can be found in the associated project listed under Projects on the GMI website. Please contact the ASG or the Landfill Subcommittee co-chairs if you are interested in any of these projects.

GMI Hits the Skies

GMI has been travelling to promote methane recovery and use as a clean energy source. Here are some of our highlights:

Now Available: LFG Project Development Handbook

Looking for Translators

The ASG offers the opportunity to use your skills to make a direct contribution to GMI. We're seeking volunteers to translate documents into other languages.

For more information, contact Henry Ferland or Monica Shimamura.

screenshotPoland's Oil and Gas Institute (INIG) completed a project development handbook, Landfill Gas Energy Technologies (PDF, 90 pp, 2.9 MB), to help stakeholders evaluate LFG energy projects and choose appropriate energy recovery technologies. This handbook was developed under a 2009 grant from the U.S. EPA. INIG received more than $150,000 to fund a tour of the landfills, and design a project development handbook and course materials (PDF, 69 pp, 6 MB) to be distributed at an LFG energy workshop at the end of the project. INIG also created an LFG energy portal Exiting Global Methane Initiative, which documents regional work in Poland related to LFG capture and use.

GMI Hosts LFG Workshop in Serbia

In December 2010, GMI hosted a workshop at the International Solid Waste Association's 2010 Conference Exiting Global Methane Initiative in Novi Sad, Serbia. The GMI workshop, Creating Viable LFG to Energy Projects in South Eastern—Eastern Europe (PDF, 2 pp, 113K) included case studies, presentations on LFG project development and financing, and an overview of the solid waste sector in Serbia. During the opening session, Tom Frankiewicz, of the U.S. EPA's Landfill Methane Outreach Program, provided an introduction to the Global Methane Initiative (PDF, 15 pp, 445K). During the LFG-Energy Project Systems Assessment session, Swarupa Ganguli, also from the Landfill Methane Outreach Program, presented on the assessment process for international landfills (PDF, 21 pp, 731K). Project Network members Carbon Trade, GE Energy—Jenbacher Gas Engines, and SCS Engineers also spoke. Presentations can be found on GMI's website.

India's ONGC Wins U.S. EPA Gas STAR Award

In November 2010, U.S. EPA's Natural Gas STAR Program recognized leaders at their Annual Implementation Workshop Exiting Global Methane Initiative. Awards were based on reported methane emission reductions achieved, the range of different methods to reduce methane emissions, and general involvement in the Program, as well as other innovative company initiatives minimizing methane emissions. India's Oil and Natural Gas Company (ONGC) Exiting Global Methane Initiative, a state-owned oil and gas company, won Natural Gas STAR's International Partner of the Year award. ONGC, a GMI Partner Organization, is one of Asia's largest oil exploration and production companies, providing 77 percent of India's crude oil and 81 percent of India's natural gas.

The U.S. EPA and ONGC have collaborated on prefeasibility studies to identify and estimate major methane emission sources. Based on the results, the company is implementing methane mitigation technologies and practices at multiple locations. Specifically, ONGC has implemented both inspection and maintenance and flare reduction programs. They have additional plans to install vapor recovery units on storage tanks. As a corollary effort of working with U.S. EPA, ONGC has set up a leak detection and measurement team. ONGC has also established an overall long-term climate change vision of carbon neutrality. Their vision and practices are included in their first Corporate Sustainability Report (PDF, 80 pp, 2.9 MB) Exiting Global Methane Initiative, released in September 2010.

ONGC was also instrumental in organizing and sponsoring the 2010 Partnership Expo in New Delhi, India, and serves on GMI's Oil and Gas Subcommittee. The ASG looks forward to continued collaboration with this Partner organization.

Source: U.S. EPA, Natural Gas STAR Partner Update Exiting Global Methane Initiative, December 2010.

LFG Projects Moving Forward

LFG projects in GMI Partner Countries Ecuador, India, and Nigeria are all one step closer to using methane as an energy source. GMI resource assessments concluded that LFG energy projects were feasible at major landfills in these countries, and spurred the landfill owners to issue requests for proposals to develop LFG energy projects. The landfills with requests for proposals, now closed, include:

Upcoming Outreach Activities

Events that may be of interest to Project Network members and Partner organizations include:

Recent Developments and Resources

Global Methane Initiative (GMI)
Leading methane action since 2004