Methane International

Issue 31, May 2013

Thank You, Vancouver! Expo Draws Hundreds from Around the World

Methane Expo 2013 was a great success! This year’s Expo drew over 450 attendees representing 44 countries from around the world. Thank you to Canada for hosting the event and to all the supporters and exhibitors who contributed their time and resources.

BC Bioenergy Network logo British Columbia's Clean Technology Revolution logo World Bank-Global Gas Flaring Reduction Partnership logo TXAM Pumps logo

La Farfana wastewater treatment plant, Santiago, Chile.
Photo by Bayne Stanley/Courtesy of Environment Canada.
“We are here together for one simple reason and that is that methane matters. It matters in our fight against global warming, in the quality of our air, water cycle, and crop yields. And it matters to our health.” - The Honourable Peter Kent, Minister of the Environment of Canada, Methane Expo 2013 keynote speech Exiting Global Methane Initiative

The Expo had something for everyone: high-level plenary sessions and talks, detailed technical talks on issues related to promoting methane projects and reductions in each of the GMI sectors, educational site tours of methane reduction activities, and a poster area that included over 90 methane emissions reductions project opportunities and success stories that showcased the real, on-the-ground accomplishments of GMI.

Canada’s Environment Minister, the Honourable Peter Kent, gave the keynote address. Acting GMI Steering Committee Chair Janet McCabe (U.S. EPA), and the Honourable Terry Lake (British Columbia’s Minister of Environment) also participated.

Photos by Tim Bouldry showcased at the 2013 GMI Expo Photos by Tim Bouldry showcased at the 2013 GMI Expo.

Other Expo highlights were:

Committee Updates


The Steering Committee poses at Methane Expo 2013 The Steering Committee poses at Methane Expo 2013.

The Steering Committee, which guides the work of the Initiative, discussed strategies to encourage countries to complete their Country Action Plans, which are used to identify specific needs and opportunities for methane reductions. They also talked about GMI’s relationship with CCAC, issues associated with financing methane projects, and greater sector engagement in subcommittee meetings.

The Steering Committee meeting concluded after three days of discussions and presented their decisions at the closing plenary. The action items agreed upon include:

Delegates from 12 countries attended, including Argentina, Australia, Canada, China, European Commission, Finland, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, Poland, and the United States, as well as an observer from Mongolia. Additional details can be found in the Steering Committee’s final report.


Peter Torenvliet, head of operations, leads the tour at Bakerview EcoDairy. Peter Torenvliet, head of operations, leads the tour at Bakerview EcoDairy.

Activities for the agriculture sector included a subcommittee meeting, technical breakout sessions, and a site visit. Allison Costa (United States) chaired the subcommittee meeting, which included updates from Argentina, Canada, China, Finland, Jordan, Pakistan, Taiwan, Thailand, and the United States. Canada provided a CCAC update on efforts to develop an agricultural initiative for the coalition. The Subcommittee also presented for discussion a draft report titled Successful Applications of Anaerobic Digestion from Across the World. The report highlights the benefits of anaerobic digestion systems and presents a variety of global case studies. The Subcommittee expects to release the final report within the next six months.

Agriculture technical breakout sessions provided information on tools and technical considerations for biogas projects, case studies, and project financing options. As part of the Expo site tours, approximately 25 people traveled to an innovative small-scale anaerobic digester system at the 50-cow Bakerview EcoDairy Exiting Global Methane Initiative in Abbotsford, B.C. Designed by Avatar, the system produces electricity and hot water; the digested manure is separated, with the solids used for bedding or fertilizer and the liquid treated and used as fertilizer.


Meredydd Evans from the Joint Global Change Research Institute speaks to the Coal subcommittee during the technical finance session Meredydd Evans from the Joint Global Change Research Institute speaks to the Coal subcommittee during the technical finance session.

This sector’s activities included a subcommittee meeting and technical and policy sessions. Co-Chairs Felicia Ruiz (United States), A.K. Debnath (India), and Huang Shengchu (China) provided opening remarks and welcomed 70 participants, the largest number of attendees at the Coal Subcommittee meetings to date. Speakers from Australia, China, and India highlighted updates to their countries’ coal mine methane (CMM) policies. Delegates from China, India, Mongolia, Poland, Turkey, Ukraine, and the United States provided highlights on recent and future CMM activities. The Chair of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Ad Hoc Group of Experts on CMM provided an update on efforts to promote and disseminate Best Practice Guidance for Effective Methane Drainage and Use in Coal Mines Exiting Global Methane Initiative, a publication co-written under the auspices of UNECE and GMI. Future action items for the subcommittee include reviewing the U.S. Coal Sector Action Plan and the U.S. Country Action Plan, developing other country-specific Coal Sector Action Plans, updating information in the CMM Technology Database, and adding new projects to the International CMM Project Database Exiting Global Methane Initiative. Breakout sessions during the Expo presented opportunities in financing and technology and examined best practices for the capture and use of CMM and ventilation air methane, featuring case studies from Vietnam and China.

Municipal Solid Waste

Activities for the MSW sector included a subcommittee meeting, technical sessions, and two site visits. More than 40 people attended the MSW Subcommittee meeting, presided over by co-chairs Diana Milena Rodriguez Velosa (Colombia) and Tom Frankiewicz (United States). Delegates presented country updates for Mexico, Bulgaria, Serbia, Poland, Finland, Colombia, Canada, the Philippines, Germany, Pakistan, Argentina, and Brazil. Presentations were made on the results of a questionnaire to guide future subcommittee priorities, the launch of a CCAC initiative targeting improvements in waste management in large urban centers, and the planned release of a new Central Eastern European LFG generation model later this year. The subcommittee also conducted a roundtable discussion on NAMAs in the waste sector. Technical sessions, each of which had 40 to 50 attendees, discussed methane abatement, greenhouse gas reductions from the waste sector, and case studies.

Attendees at the Nanaimo Bioenergy Centre site visit Attendees at the Nanaimo Bioenergy Centre site visit.

The MSW Subcommittee representatives participated in two site visits:

Municipal Wastewater

Municipal wastewater sector activities included a subcommittee meeting, technical sessions, and a site visit. Subcommittee Co-Chairs Chris Godlove (United States) and Federico Grullón (Dominican Republic) welcomed 18 representatives from seven different countries: Canada, the Dominican Republic, Finland, Japan, Mexico, Turkey, and the United States. Technical sessions included presentations about wastewater biogas modeling and measurement, opportunities for wastewater biogas recovery and use, and innovative case studies. Participants toured the Annacis Wastewater Treatment Plant, which is home to a full scale co-digestion pilot project Exiting Global Methane Initiative that is testing biogas production with different high-strength organic wastes.

Oil and Gas

Expo attendees touring the Fortis Mt. Hayes LNG facility Expo attendees touring the Fortis Mt. Hayes LNG facility.

During the subcommittee meeting, members gave brief updates on activities supporting their strategic methane reduction goals. The representatives from the European Commission reported on their new action plan and possible areas for collaboration with GMI. Additional country updates were given as part of the technical and policy sessions and, in total, ten GMI countries (Canada, China, Colombia, Indonesia, Mexico, Norway, Sweden, Thailand, the United States, and Ukraine) and the European Commission provided updates. During technical and policy sessions, more than 20 presentations covered several key topics, including best practices for evaluating and reducing emissions from oil and associated gas production, approaches to methane emission detection and measurement, and best practices for capturing and utilizing methane emissions in the oil and gas industry. Representatives from Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) and Heath Consultants gave a hands-on demonstration of their FLIR GF Series and OPGAL EyeCGas infrared cameras, which are used to identify methane gas leaks.

For the site visit, the group toured the Fortis Mt. Hayes peak shaving liquid natural gas (LNG) storage facility. This recently built facility allows for more efficient use of existing pipeline systems.

In January 2013, CCAC launched an Oil and Gas Initiative Exiting Global Methane Initiative. The Initiative focuses on reducing venting, leakage, and flaring of natural gas from global oil and gas operations. Supported by Australia, Denmark, France, Italy, Nigeria, Norway, Sweden, United States, United Kingdom, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the World Bank, the Oil and Gas Initiative seeks to 1) accelerate and expand global methane and black carbon emission reductions, building upon and scaling up achievements of the Natural Gas STAR International Program Exiting Global Methane Initiative, GMI, and the Global Gas Flaring Reduction Partnership Exiting Global Methane Initiative; and 2) showcase progress by companies in addressing short-lived climate pollutants.

GMI Outreach


January 2013. Mongolia. The Mongolian Nature and Environment Consortium Exiting Global Methane Initiative, a U.S. EPA grantee for GMI coal-related activities in Mongolia, coordinated a series of meetings in Ulaanbaatar with key ministry officials–including the Ministry of Mining, the Mineral Resources Authority, and the Ministry of Environment and Clean Development–to further efforts to reduce methane emissions in the country’s mining sector.

February 2013. India’s Secretary of Coal and representatives from the Central Mine Planning and Design Institute (CMPDI) and the Central Institute of Mining and Fuel Research (CIMFR) met to discuss the country’s CMM activities and its continued role in GMI and the Coal Subcommittee. The meetings were joined by representatives from U.S. EPA, the U.S. Embassy in Delhi, and the U.S. Agency for International Development. Participants discussed the work plan of the India CMM Clearinghouse (located at CMPDI), as well as India's new policies to clarify CMM ownership on federal lands. Officials were also briefed on the new GMI CMM pre-feasibility study underway at the Sawang mine, operated by Central Coalfields Ltd. in the Damodar Valley.


December 2012, Poland. Krakow’s Instityut Nafti I Gazu (i.e., the Oil and Gas Institute) hosted a workshop with sessions on LFG energy projects in Poland and training on a computer support system for economical assessment of LFG projects. Presentations Exiting Global Methane Initiative, from the workshop are available in English and Polish. Additional discussions were held regarding the forthcoming Central Europe LFG model and future plans for LFG project support.

February 2013, Ukraine. In preparation for the GMI Coal Subcommittee meeting at Methane Expo 2013, U.S. EPA staff met with government officials, NGOs, and mining industry representatives in Kiev and Donetsk, Ukraine. Staff held meetings with representatives of the Ministry of Energy and Coal Industry, the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources, and the Donetsk State Regional Administration, among others, to encourage participation at the Expo. Both ministries expressed support for working cooperatively on CMM activities, and sent a large delegation to the Expo, which included the Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources. Additionally, the Ukrainian government nominated three new delegates to the Coal Subcommittee.

Central America/South America

Energy Innovation Contest for Latin America and the Caribbean

Individuals, enterprises, and organizations based in Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) borrowing member countries are invited to submit proposals focusing on the adoption, innovation, assimilation, development, and transfer of technologies in renewable energy, energy efficiency, climate change mitigation, and fossil fuel substitution. Proposals must be submitted by 1 July 2013, via the IDB’s Ideas webpage Exiting Global Methane Initiative.

December 2012, Chile. KDM Energia began its evaluation of possible LFG utilization projects at three landfills (Parque El Guanaco, Parque El Retamo, Laguna Verde). U.S. EPA staff evaluated characteristics at Colihues–La Yesca and Cerro Colorado. All of the sites were determined to be well-operated, and consultants are estimating LFG generation and recovery potential. Chile’s Ministry of Environment, with support of CCAP and funding from Canada, is working to implement a solid waste NAMA for management of organic waste from industrial and municipal sources. The first step of this project was determining the feasibility of using community waste for composting, dry fermentation, or wet fermentation. The results of the study Exiting Global Methane Initiative were presented at Methane Expo 2013.

February–March 2013, Brazil. Officials with the City of Rio de Janeiro held meetings with U.S. EPA and Clinton Climate Initiative/C-40 Cities to discuss and coordinate participation in the CCAC MSW Initiative Exiting Global Methane Initiative to reduce short-lived climate pollutants. The city has established ambitious goals related to waste management in the lead-up to hosting the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics. Brazilian Association of Waste Management (ABRELE), a U.S. EPA-grantee, hosted a workshop on LFG Management and launched the GMI Methane Atlas for the Waste Sector in Brazil Exiting Global Methane Initiative. With more than 300 participants, the Secretary of the Environment of the State of Saõ Paolo hosted a workshop, which focused on the release of a manual designed to help municipalities plan for solid waste management Exiting Global Methane Initiative.

Project Updates and Recent Developments

Inventory of Mexican Landfills

In January, U.S. EPA hosted the 16th Annual Landfill Methane Outreach Program Conference Exiting Global Methane Initiative and Project Expo. Presentations that GMI stakeholders may be interested in include those from the International Panel and information on small-scale LFG vehicle fuel projects.

Local Governments for Sustainability, Mexico Office (ICLEI) Exiting Global Methane Initiative completed an analysis of the current MSW situation in Mexico’s southeast region (Chiapas, Oaxaca, Quintana Roo, and Yucatan states) to identify opportunities for LFG energy projects. The analysis inventoried landfills from 350 municipalities representing almost 40 percent of the municipalities in the country. Information collected included volume and type of waste, landfill characteristics, composting and recycling actions, and environmental education initiatives. ICLEI is now assisting the city of Othon P. Blanco in Quintana Roo in preparing bidding documents for a pilot LFG energy project.

Global Methane Initiative (GMI)
Leading methane action since 2004