Menu ☰
x

It’s time to take action!
Click to take part in the Global Methane Challenge.

Methane International

This page is no longer being maintained. Information and links may be out of date. For the most recent information from Methane International, visit Methane International blog.

The Global Methane Initiative Update

Issue 29, November 2012

Register Now for Methane Expo 2013

GMI Expo logo Join GMI at the 3rd international Methane Expo, being held 12–15 March 2013, in scenic Vancouver, Canada. Registration is now open for this premiere event where industry leaders and government officials gather to learn about the latest policies, incentives, technologies, and strategies to recover and use methane for valuable clean energy.

Exhibit Your Technology and Services

Don't miss the chance to showcase your company's services and technologies that promote methane recovery and use. Over 500 attendees passed through the more than 100 exhibits at the last Expo. Sign up today to meet project developers, financiers, policymakers, manufacturers, and government representatives by registering for a booth.

Increase Your Exposure through Sponsorship

Become a financial supporter. Use the Methane Expo 2013 to enhance your visibility at the ONLY international forum dedicated to methane recovery and use projects. Every sponsor will receive exclusive benefits that increase exposure to attendees before, during, and after the Expo, including recognition in printed materials and on the website.

Top of page

Spotlight on Australia: Coal Mining Methane Abatement Seminar Hosts

On 4-5 September, Australia, a leader in coal mine methane (CMM) emission reduction innovations and policies, hosted the Coal Mining Methane Abatement Seminar in Sydney. The GMI Coal Subcommittee met in conjunction with the seminar, showcasing Australia's continued commitment to GMI. In addition to committing to reducing methane emissions, specifically, Australia is also dedicated to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in general, both domestically and internationally.

Wayne Calder of Australia's Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism addressing Seminar participants in Sydney, Australia. Wayne Calder of Australia's Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism addressing Seminar participants in Sydney, Australia.

Under its Clean Energy Future Plan Exiting Global Methane Initiative, released in 2011 by the Australian Government to mitigate GHG emissions and move towards a clean energy future, Australia introduced a carbon price and new programs to promote innovation and investment in renewable energy. Under this Plan, the country will cut at least 159 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MMTCE) of carbon pollution in 2020—equal to removing 45 million cars from the road. The Plan has a goal of reducing GHG emissions by 80 percent of 2000 emissions levels by 2050.

A key part of the plan—the carbon pricing mechanism—was initiated on 1 July 2012 with a fixed price period that will last for three years. The price will start at $23 per ton and will rise 2.5 percent each year. Beginning on 1 July 2015, the carbon price will transition to a flexible price under an emissions trading scheme, where the price will be determined by the market. The carbon price applies to more than 500 of Australia's largest GHG emitters, including a large portion of the coal industry.

The carbon pricing scheme will be linked to credible international carbon markets and emissions trading schemes beginning on 1 July 2015, coordinating with the flexible price period. At least half of a party's compliance obligation must be met through domestic permits or credits, but up to 50 percent of their liabilities can be met through eligible international units. This means that Australian companies can directly support abatement in other countries, so Australia plans to leverage its GMI relationships to find potential international projects in which to invest.

In addition to the carbon price, the Clean Energy Future Plan also includes assistance for many industries that will be affected by the new carbon pricing scheme. The Jobs and Competitiveness Program will provide $9.2 billion in assistance between 2012 and 2015 to safeguard jobs in industries with high emissions and international competition. The $1.2 billion Clean Technology Program will provide support to manufacturing industries to improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon pollution and conduct research and development activities to identify low pollution technologies.

Although the coal industry makes a strong contribution to Australia's social and economic welfare, coal also accounts for a significant portion of Australia's GHG emissions. In 2010, coal mining accounted for 28.3 MMTCE—or 5 percent of Australia's net GHG emissions.

A small number of existing coal mines have high fugitive emissions and will face significant costs with the implementation of a carbon price. In response, the Australian Government developed a transitional assistance package for the Australian coal industry that recognizes the adjustment challenges faced by the industry. This package includes the Coal Sector Jobs Package (CSJP) Exiting Global Methane Initiative and the Coal Mining Abatement Technology Support Package (CMATSP) Exiting Global Methane Initiative. CSJP is a $1.3 billion package that will provide transitional assistance to help the coal industry implement methane abatement technologies at the highest-emitting mines, while CMATSP will provide $70 million to support the research, development, and demonstration of CMM abatement technologies. The packages will support industry efforts to develop technologies to safely reduce fugitive methane emissions, offer transitional assistance to the most gassy mines, and support efforts to develop abatement technologies for full-scale deployment.

As a first step, Australia's Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism hosted the Coal Mining Methane Abatement Technology Seminar Exiting Global Methane Initiative on 4-6 September 2012 in Sydney, Australia. The seminar's objectives, other than raising awareness of the opportunities provided by CMATSP and how it will be used to support technology development and transfer, included connecting the Australian coal industry with domestic and international CMM abatement technology providers, providing greater information for the Australian industry on future international investment opportunities, promoting Australia's expertise and technologies relevant to CMM recovery and use, and identifying safety and regulatory issues with the development and deployment of CMM abatement technology.

The seminar brought together a range of national and international stakeholder groups involved in the development and deployment of methane abatement solutions to consider and respond to the issues, challenges, and opportunities associated with the commercialization of these solutions. Approximately 145 delegates participated in the seminar over three days, which included a day and a half of technical sessions, the GMI Coal Subcommittee meeting, and a site tour.

Participants after Appin WCMG power station and WestVAMP site tour in Sydney, Australia. Participants after Appin WCMG power station and WestVAMP site tour in Sydney, Australia.

Each of the six technical sessions featured a different panel of speakers from multiple countries and backgrounds. Topics included:

A closing session followed the six sessions, featuring a panel comprised of the moderators from the technical sessions. The panelists gave remarks summarizing and commenting on the seminar. Sixty three delegates concluded the seminar on the last day with a tour of the Appin Waste Coal Mine Gas (WCMG) Exiting Global Methane Initiative power station and the West Cliff Ventilation Air Methane Project (WestVAMP) Exiting Global Methane Initiative. WestVAMP has been in operation more than 5 years and is the oldest VAM processing installation in the world.

Hosting the seminar in conjunction with the Coal Subcommittee meeting demonstrated Australia's continued support for reducing methane emissions—and all GHG emissions—globally. Australia would like to thank all of the participants and speakers for a successful seminar!

Top of page

Subcommittee Updates

Tri-sector subcommittee meetings

On 2–3 July 2012, GMI held three concurrent sector subcommittee meetings in Singapore: Agriculture, Municipal Solid Waste, and Municipal Wastewater. The meetings were held in conjunction with WasteMET Asia – ISWA Beacon Conference Exiting Global Methane Initiative, the World Cities Summit Exiting Global Methane Initiative, and Singapore International Water Week Exiting Global Methane Initiative. Each meeting addressed common themes, including development of technical and policy session agendas for Methane Expo 2013 and new guidance available for the development of sector-specific action plans, which Partner Countries are encouraged to finish prior to the Expo. Attendees learned about current U.S. EPA efforts to work with the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) Exiting Global Methane Initiative on the short-lived climate pollutants initiative. The meetings were attended by 45 representatives from 23 countries. Minutes from the Singapore meeting (PDF, 45 pp, 284 KB), as well as the meeting presentations, are available on the GMI website.

Agriculture

The Agriculture Subcommittee conducted its 12th meeting while in Singapore. Delegates from Partner Countries Argentina, Ethiopia, India, Philippines, Thailand, and the United States participated, along with multiple Project Network members. The meeting included country updates and discussion of the subcommittee's draft Statement of Purpose, which was developed to encourage greater participation, better define the group's focus, and make the subcommittee's activities more beneficial to members. In addition, attendees discussed the development of an international best practice guide and case studies. The next meeting of the Agriculture Subcommittee will take place via teleconference, on 28 November 2012 at 9:00am eastern standard time. The final version of the subcommittee's Statement of Purpose was posted earlier this month.

Attendees at the Coal Subcommittee meeting in Australia. Attendees at the Coal Subcommittee meeting in Australia.

Coal

The Coal Subcommittee held its 16th session on 5 September 2012, in Sydney, Australia, on the second day of the Australian government's Coal Mining Methane Abatement Seminar Exiting Global Methane Initiative. The meeting was attended by GMI Partner Country delegates, Project Network members, ASG staff, and other guests. Forty-two people, representing six countries, were present. Subcommittee meeting attendees discussed updates to country-specific and sector-specific action plans and how to join the Project Network. A representative from the U.S. Department of State discussed CCAC's Exiting Global Methane Initiative initiatives to reduce short-lived climate pollutants. Representatives from Australia, China, Mongolia, Poland, and the United States reported on CMM activities. Project Network member representatives from MEGTEC Systems Exiting Global Methane Initiative and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Ad Hoc Group of Experts on CMM Exiting Global Methane Initiative also shared updates. The subcommittee also initiated plans for the coal mine technical and policy sessions for Methane Expo 2013.

Municipal Solid Waste

The Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) Subcommittee met on 2 July 2012 in Singapore. The meeting featured a discussion of new activities and resources the subcommittee will focus on to promote methane mitigation as well as avoidance strategies other than landfill gas (LFG). The co-chairs of the subcommittee plan to email a Web-based survey to members to prioritize activities. The subcommittee also held a roundtable discussion on Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) for the waste sector. During this discussion Colombia, Ethiopia, and Serbia presented updates on each of their waste sector NAMAs. Many countries expressed a need to standardize the procedures used to calculate baseline emissions and methods used to monitor, report, and verify emission reductions achieved. The United States offered to prepare an assessment of MSW NAMAs as well as a framework for monitoring, reporting and verification elements that can be used to assist GMI partners in NAMA development. The next meeting of the subcommittee took place via teleconference, on 19 November 2012 at 7:00am eastern standard time.

Municipal Wastewater

The Latest GMI Resource: International Best Practices Guide

In September 2012, GMI launched the International Best Practices Guide for Landfill Gas Energy Projects, which provides valuable information on the project development process and common obstacles to developing LFG energy projects in developing countries. Consisting of seven chapters and 15 case studies in 10 different Partner Countries, the guide covers Basic Concepts of Integrated Solid Waste Management; Solid Waste Disposal Site Design and Operational Considerations; Design, Construction, and Operation of LFG Collection and Control Systems; LFG Energy Utilization Technologies; Market Drivers for LFG Energy Projects; LFG Modeling; and Project Economics and Financing. GMI sincerely thanks the expert reviewers as well as U.S. EPA for providing this resource.

GMI officially added the Municipal Wastewater Subcommittee as its fifth sector subcommittee in 2011 at the GMI meeting in Poland. Since then, the subcommittee has been busy recruiting delegates, developing the Municipal Wastewater Subcommittee Action Plan (PDF, 7 pp, 123 KB), and holding initial meetings to determine the focus and direction of the subcommittee.

The Municipal Wastewater Subcommittee held its first meeting via the Internet in April 2012. This initial meeting provided an overview of the new subcommittee, introduced delegates, and started the discussion on subcommittee goals and activities. In July 2012, the Municipal Wastewater Subcommittee held its first in-person meeting in Singapore. Meeting topics included a summary of the outcomes of the Internet-based meeting held on 18 April 2012; subcommittee membership and leadership, including the confirmation of two new co-chairs—Elias Freig (Mexico) and Federico Grullón (Dominican Republic)—to join Chris Godlove (United States); country updates from attendees; the Municipal Wastewater Subcommittee Action Plan; and planning for the Methane Expo 2013 in Vancouver, Canada.

Co-Chair Grullón invited his fellow co-chairs to the Dominican Republic on 19 October 2012, for a strategic planning meeting. The meeting focused on planning for Methane Expo 2013 and addressed the future development of wastewater resources; Project Network recruitment; and planning for the next subcommittee meeting, to be held via the Internet on 6 December 2012.

Going forward, the primary focus of the Municipal Wastewater Subcommittee will be identifying and promoting methane recovery and use opportunities and best practices at existing centralized municipal wastewater treatment facilities. In addition, the subcommittee will seek to identify a strategy for engaging global, regional, and national entities involved in planning and executing wastewater infrastructure in integrating methane mitigation and utilization into new projects. Specific strategies the Municipal Wastewater Subcommittee will consider include:

Additional information can be found in the Municipal Wastewater Subcommittee Action Plan (PDF, 7 pp, 123 KB).

Oil and Gas

The Oil and Gas Subcommittee continues its planning for speakers and agenda for Methane Expo 2013. The last subcommittee meeting in April was held in conjunction with the Natural Gas STAR Annual Implementation Workshop. It was a great success and several new countries attended for the first time. An overview from the meeting can be found in the last issue of Methane International.

Top of page

Climate and Clean Air Coalition Goes to Ghana

In September 2012, government officials including GMI delegates from Ghana, policymakers, industry representatives, and environmental experts representing 15 different African countries met in Accra, Ghana. The 3-day event, hosted by the Environment Ministries of Ghana and Nigeria with the support of the CCAC Exiting Global Methane Initiative, the African Climate Policy Center, and the United Nations Environment Programme, sought to address the issue of short-lived climate pollutants in Africa and consider methods to mitigate their environmental impact. Participants discussed promoting best practices, showcasing successful reduction efforts, and reducing methane emissions from fossil fuel production and the agriculture and waste sectors. Furthermore, Andrew Eil from the U.S. Department of State presented a GMI overview. For more information, visit the UNEP news centre website Exiting Global Methane Initiative.

Top of page

Grant Supports LFG Workshop in Philippines

The Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD), in coordination with the National Solid Waste Management Commission and GMI, hosted a workshop on the basics of LFG energy project planning, design, and financing, as well as discussed opportunities for LFG capture and use in the Philippines. This workshop was the third in a series for which PCIEERD received U.S. EPA funding for capacity building. Presentations Exiting Global Methane Initiative and a workshop report are posted.

Top of page

Biogas Development in Pakistan

In 2010, Winrock International received a U.S. EPA grant to build capacity in Pakistan to support commercial biogas development on the country's medium-sized dairy farms. The project's objectives simultaneously address issues of electricity shortages and low financial returns on farmers. The project involves conducting feasibility studies to identify good candidate locations and providing facilitation and training services for installing and operating biogas plants. In the future, Winrock hopes to create awareness of potential revenues and facilitate connections among farms, financial institutions, and technology suppliers by organizing interactive meetings. Activities and updates are outlined on the project fact sheet Exiting Global Methane Initiative.

Top of page

GMI Outreach

Asia

U.S. EPA's Summer 2012 issue of Coalbed Methane Extra contains an article "Financing CMM and VAM Projects." (PDF, 14 pp, 915 KB)

April 2012, Bei Bei City, China. Representatives of the Tianfu Mining Company shared details with GMI representatives on two mines that are being evaluated for reducing fugitive methane emissions. Zunyi Gas and representatives from Guiyang's Development and Reform Commission also participated in discussions on potential future CMM projects.

July 2012, Singapore. EPA wastewater sector staff presented at Singapore International Water Week as part of a panel session discussing the importance of reducing methane emissions from municipal wastewater treatment operations. EPA also met with the International Solid Waste Association's (ISWA's) Science and Technology Committee to discuss GMI's past, present, and future collaboration with ISWA.

July 2012, Jakarta, Indonesia. EPA MSW sector staff co-hosted a landfill operations and maintenance workshop in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Works and the Indonesian Solid Waste Association. Participants included officials from Indonesian municipalities, many of whom expressed interest in collaborating with GMI to explore opportunities to reduce methane emissions.

July 2012, Wuhan and Beijing, China. EPA MSW sector staff met with GMI delegates and other stakeholders and conducted landfill site visits to explore potential sites for the operations and maintenance training workshop for landfill operators scheduled to take place in March or April 2013.

August 2012, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. An EPA coal sector expert met with government officials to discuss coal sector activities, and visited several state-owned coal mines who are participating in a resource assessment, as well as a private sector mine where GMI is conducting a CMM pre-feasibility study.

Star Energy's KF oil and gas production platform, Natuna Sea, Indonesia. Star Energy's KF oil and gas production platform, Natuna Sea, Indonesia.

September 2012, Jakarta, Indonesia. EPA oil and gas sector staff supported the second Asia Pacific Global Methane Initiative Oil & Gas Sector Workshop which was hosted by Pertamina and cosponsored by Star Energy, the Society of Petroleum Engineers, BPMIGAS, and the World Bank's Global Gas Flaring Reduction (GGFR) Partnership Exiting Global Methane Initiative. Pertamina hosted a site visit to its Tambun oil production facility where methane leak detection and measurement techniques were demonstrated. Following the workshop, a methane leak identification and measurement study was conducted at Star Energy's Kakap offshore oil and gas production facilities.

Australia

September 2012, Perth, Australia. EPA oil and gas sector staff presented a paper co-authored with ONGC (India) titled, International Collaboration to Advance Sustainable Oil & Natural Gas Production and Climate Protection at the International Conference on Health, Safety & Environment in Oil and Gas Exploration and Production Exiting Global Methane Initiative. The conference paper Exiting Global Methane Initiative provides details on ONGC's methane emission reductions.

Europe

July 2012, Sofia, Bulgaria. EPA MSW sector staff met with the Ministry of Environment and Water and other stakeholders to start the development of a national methane strategy. EPA also met with organizers of the South-East European Exhibition and Conference for Waste Management, Recycling and Environment Exiting Global Methane Initiative, taking place in May 2013, to discuss workshop ideas and speakers.

September 2012, Sofia, Bulgaria. EPA MSW sector staff met with Bulgarian GMI partners to discuss their waste sector methane action plan and emissions inventory. Participants agreed on a timeline for completion as well as presenting the information at a future workshop.

September 2012, Kiev, Ukraine. EPA MSW sector staff presented at the 8th International Conference on Biomass for Energy Exiting Global Methane Initiative and visited three landfills near Kiev with a local engineering firm and LFG energy developer.

October 2012, Moscow, Russia. The Environmental Defense Fund Exiting Global Methane Initiative, the World Bank-led GGFR Exiting Global Methane Initiative Partnership and EPA hosted a two-day workshop on methane emission control for the oil and gas sector. Participants focused on how to rapidly achieve global, national, and local benefits by minimizing natural gas losses and flaring.

Middle East and North Africa

May 2012, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar. EPA oil and gas sector staff met with key government officials and led technical discussions on methane emission reduction project opportunities to begin building organizational relationships.

North America

April 2012, Washington, D.C, United States. GMI participated in the U.S.-India Energy Partnership Summit, which focused on clean energy for mitigating climate change and removing barriers to technology transfer. Session summaries Exiting Global Methane Initiative, which include policy insights, discussions on how to remove technology transfer barriers, and economic opportunities for businesses, are available.

June 2012, Mexico City, Mexico. EPA oil and gas sector staff gave a presentation on PEMEX's work to quantify and reduce their methane emissions at PEMEX's Second Annual Environmental Workshop. EPA also met with representatives from the Mexican energy and environmental ministries to discuss opportunities for collaboration.

In July 2012, U.S. EPA's LMOP program published Going Abroad with Landfill Gas Energy: Taking the Success of Direct Use in the United States to the International Community (PDF, 10 pp, 615 KB) Exiting Global Methane Initiative.

September 2012, Mexico City, Mexico. EPA MSW sector staff spoke at the 20th Green Expo and International Environmental Congress Exiting Global Methane Initiative on the topic of advancing LFG energy and hosted a booth.

Central America/ South America

April 2012, Belo Horizonte, São Paolo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. EPA MSW sector staff met with public and private representatives, conducted landfill and wastewater site visits, and attended a waste management training workshop. EPA met with Brazil's Environment State Foundation, assessed progress at the Contagem landfill, and discussed project opportunities at the Belo Horizonte landfill, Geroncinco landfill, and Nemak plant.

April 2012, Coquimbo and Santiago, Chile. EPA MSW sector staff supported the operations and maintenance for landfill operations component at a national training seminar Exiting Global Methane Initiative sponsored by the Secretariat for Urban and Regional Development of Chile (SUBDERE) National Solid Waste Program. EPA also met with the Ministry of Environment to discuss initiatives in the wastewater sector, visited the biogas recovery and utilization project at La Farfana, and conducted an LFG Biogas working group meeting.

May 2012, Colombia. EPA oil and gas sector staff participated in an Eco-Efficiency Forum sponsored by Colombia's state-owned oil and gas company, Ecopetrol. Participants discussed recommendations and best practices on a variety of environmental topics, including addressing methane emissions from Ecopetrol operations.

September 2012, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo State, Brazil. EPA MSW sector staff visited the Gramacho Exiting Global Methane Initiative and Seropedica landfills, and met with the State Secretariat for the Environment to discuss opportunities to conduct training and capacity building workshops.

Top of page

Recent Developments and Resources

Philippines Registers Agricultural Project for Carbon Credits

The Land Bank of the Philippines is helping pig farmers manage animal waste and turn the captured methane emissions into carbon credits. The project is the first animal waste management project in Southeast Asia to be registered by United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The Land Bank, with assistance from GMI and the World Bank, is coordinating and managing the installation of anaerobic digester systems that capture methane and generate carbon credits for each ton of methane captured. The Spanish Carbon Fund, administered by the World Bank, buys the carbon credits, providing the farms with an additional source of revenue. Some of the farms will also generate electricity from this renewable energy source. The World Bank estimates that once fully implemented, the program will produce more than 100,000 carbon credits per year from dozens of pig farms across the country.

Source: Land Bank of the Philippines, "LANDBANK biogas CDM Program for piggeries first of its kind in PH, Southeast Asia," Exiting Global Methane Initiative September 12, 2012.

Workshop attendees tour Mare Chicose Landfill during the site visit day in Flic en Flac, Mauritius. Workshop attendees tour Mare Chicose Landfill during the site visit day in Flic en Flac, Mauritius.

LFG Workshop in Mauritius

In September 2012, in Flic en Flac, Mauritius, U.S. EPA provided support for the Coastal East Africa Solid Waste Management and Gas to Energy Best Practices Workshop (PDF, 3 pp, 43 KB). Many of the countries of East Africa and the region's surrounding islands lack adequate infrastructure, information, and resources to manage solid waste in an efficient manner. The workshop provided information on the elements of integrated solid waste management appropriate for the region, including landfill operations and maintenance and approaches to reduce methane, such as recycling, composting, and developing LFG energy projects in East Africa. The approximately 50 attendees shared information and experiences, discussed cross-cutting issues, and learned about best practices and appropriate solutions. Presentations included an overview on integrated solid waste management, lessons learned, proper landfill design and maintenance, status of solid waste management in individual cities and countries, and successes and challenges across the region.

Carbon Credits in Africa

In June 2012, with support from GMI, the Lagos Waste Management Authority (LWMA), the Lagos state government of Nigeria, and C40 Cities Exiting Global Methane Initiative (a Clinton Climate Initiative program), organized a workshop on Developing Successful Integrated Waste Management Systems Exiting Global Methane Initiative in Africa. The workshop included information on LFG energy projects and integrated solid waste management. Before the end of the year, LWMA will become the first entity on the entire African continent to earn carbon credits from its waste management system. The workshop, which included participants from Ghana, Sierra Leone, and Ethiopia, was designed for sharing LWMA's experience and to help start the development of an African LFG model to calculate gas generation and recovery.

Source: Akinpelu Dada, "Lagos to earn income from waste management," Exiting Global Methane Initiative The Punch, July 2, 2012.

Top of page

In this edition:

ASG Corner

Ashley BrosiusAshley Brosius is the new Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education Fellow at the ASG and will support GMI activities, including Expo planning in the coming months. Ashley holds a dual master's degree in natural resources and sustainable development from American University in Washington, D.C., and the University for Peace in Costa Rica. Before joining GMI, Ashley worked with Carolinas Integrated Sciences and Assessments, a NOAA-funded climate science program at the University of South Carolina. Ashley worked with local-, state-, and federal-level agencies, as well as with academia, the private sector, and non-governmental organizations, to raise awareness of climate impacts. Ashley is especially interested in advancing effective climate change communication strategies. In her non-work life, Ashley enjoys running, sailing, and film festivals. Please join us in welcoming Ashley to the team.

Sincerely,

Henry Ferland
Henry Ferland
Co-Director, ASG

Monica Shimamura
Monica Shimamura
Co-Director, ASG