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China International Centre of Excellence on Coal Mine Methane 

China has been the world’s largest coal producer for the past three decades and is the world’s leading contributor of coal mine methane (CMM) emissions, expected to become roughly 51% of the global total in 20201. In 2017, demand for coal in China reached 2,752 million tonnes of carbon equivalent2 (Mtce) and its mines captured 12.8 billion cubic meters (Bcm) of CMM3. China’s ambitious goals include lowering its carbon intensity of GDP by 60%-65% below 2005 levels by 2030. Increased recovery and use of CMM will help China achieve these targets, and will also improve mine safety.

To help lead these efforts, the International Centre of Excellence on Coal Mine Methane (ICE-CMM) in China was launched in September 2017. Located in Taiyuan City, Shanxi Province and hosted by one of China’s largest coal producers, Shanxi Coking Coal Group Ltd (SCCG), the Centre is situated in one of China’s principal coal mining regions. Launching the ICE-CMM is an important step in the China’s transition to a more sustainable energy future.

The main function of the Centre is to serve as a regional and international center for best practices in gas capture and utilization. Its objectives include increasing clean power generation, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and improving mine safety. In addition, the ICE serves as a forum for communication and exchange among Chinese and international experts.

Established through a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the United Nations Economic Commission of Europe (UNECE), the ICE-CMM is a non-governmental organization operating under its own charter with support from its initial sponsor, SCCG, along with other major coal mining groups, CMM project developers and equipment manufacturers in China. The ICE-CMM in China is expected to receive its corporate charter in 2019, establishing it as a self-sustaining organization able to identify and evaluate opportunities for CMM recovery and use along with the capacity to transfer good practices on methane capture and utilization in coal mines.

Since its launch, the China ICE-CMM program initiated a number of activities in support of its mission:

  • In 2018, Centre staff participated in an intensive pre-feasibility training program with the Global Methane Initiative (GMI) using the development of a pre-feasibility study for the SCCG TengHui mine as a “hands on” training exercise.
  • Completed training on Risk Assessment and Occupational Safety & Health Performance Monitoring related to mine gas management and explosion risks.
  • Dispatched ICE-CMM representatives to conduct academic exchanges and activities through speeches, presentations and participation at numerous coal mining forums in China and in other countries.
  • As part of a larger workplan effort in 2019, China ICE-CMM will attempt to provide continued services to Belt and Road Cooperation, establish strategic partnerships to support the Centre’s efforts, and participate in activities sponsored by the UNECE Group of Experts (GoE) on CMM4.

For additional information on the China ICE-CMM visit this UNECE link, and for information on other ICEs on CMM visit this UNECE link.


1U.S. EPA. (2012). Global Anthropogenic Non-CO2 Greenhouse Gas Emissions: 1990-2030. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Air & Radiation. EPA 430-R-12-006, December 2012. En: https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-05/documents/epa_global_nonco2_projections_dec2012.pdf
2IEA. (2018). Coal. En: https://www.iea.org/topics/coal/
3GMI. China Coal Sector Update to the 27th Session of the Global Methane Initiative (GMI) Coal Subcommittee. En: http://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/energy/se/pp/coal/cmm/13cmm_sept2018/24_September_GMI/4_CHINA.pdf
4UNECE. (2018). 2018 Workreport and Workplan for 2019. En: http://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/energy/se/pp/coal/cmm/13cmm_sept2018/25_September_13cmm/3_ICE-CMM_CN_e_Zhixin.pdf

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