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Issue 34, June 2014

Methane International

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The Global Methane Initiative Update

Biogas in Brazil!

Global Methane Initiative's three biogas sectors held a joint subcommittee meeting in Florianopolis, Brazil, in March 2014. The Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC) hosted delegates, Project Network members, and other interested stakeholders from the Municipal Solid Waste, Agriculture, and Municipal Wastewater sectors.

In addition to the joint subcommittee meetings, the conference included a two-day best practices workshop on reducing methane emissions, hosted jointly by GMI and the Fundação do Meio Ambiente (FATMA). The event consisted of several technical sessions discussing best practices and opportunities for recovery and mitigation of methane emissions across all three sectors.

GMI hopes the success of the Best Practices Workshop and Tri-Sector Subcommittee Meeting will improve communication across the three sectors and aid the development and deployment in biogas technologies.

Presentations at the three-day meeting focused on sector-specific updates and cross-sector sessions showcasing technologies, techniques, and best practices applicable to all three sectors. Meeting agendas and presentations from the various sessions have been posted on the GMI website.


GMI-Supported CMM Projects Recognized in Guizhou Provincial GHG Emission Control Scheme

Zhongling Pump Station Pump station at Zhongling Mine.

In 2009, the Guizhou International Cooperation Center for Environmental Protection (GZICCEP) was awarded a grant from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) to complete prefeasibility studies at two mines in Southwest China's Guizhou Province.

The studies, published in 2011, explore the feasibility of power generation and compressed natural gas (CNG) production from drained coal mine methane (CMM) at Qinglong Mine (PDF) and power generation and liquefied natural gas (LNG) production from drained CMM at the Zhongling Mine (PDF). CMM recovery and utilization projects at these mines were recently identified as demonstration projects to be pursued as part of Guizhou's Provincial Greenhouse Gas Control Scheme, published in May 2013. The projects are highlighted as part of the scheme's measures to "actively develop low carbon energy."

The Qinglong Mine is also part of the EcoPartnership between GZICCEP and Raven Ridge Resources, Incorporated (RRR). The EcoPartnerships program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, features United States-China cooperation on energy and environmental issues. The GZICCEP-RRR team was selected as one of six EcoPartnerships in 2013 and seeks to better understand the Chinese market for draining and utilizing CMM, particularly at small mines in Southwest China, to reduce emissions, improve mine safety, and provide a source of energy.

The work leverages the EcoPartnerships brand to garner the endorsement of local officials and industry to foster several high-profile demonstrations of drainage and commercial use of CMM. The team will assist the Qinglong coal mine in improving its existing in-mine gas drainage system and demonstrating the use of surface to in-seam drilling and surface-drilled gob vent boreholes for post-mine CMM drainage. The gas produced will be sold for commercial use.


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Subcommittee Updates

Dr. Marion Wilde, who has served as the European Commission's representative to the Oil & Gas Subcommittee, Coal Subcommittee, and alternate representative to the Steering Committee, and Diana Milena Rodriguez Velosa of Colombia, Co-Chair of the Municipal Solid Waste Subcommittee, will be leaving their posts as delegates. We wish them well in their future endeavors.

GMI thanks all of the delegates for their efforts to champion GMI goals and objectives and looks forward to working with the new delegates over the coming years.

Agriculture

The Agriculture Subcommittee's participation at the Tri-Sector Subcommittee Meeting in Brazil focused on the policies and incentives in place for anaerobic digestion (AD) around the world. Two subcommittee delegates gave presentations – one on current European-wide policies and the other on Finnish practices. The subcommittee Co-Chairs led a discussion session to generate additional ideas for the AD Policies and Incentives report, which will focus on expanding the implementation of AD.

Coal

Mr. B.N. Prasad
Mr. B.N. Prasad

The Coal Subcommittee held its 19th session on 3 June 2014 in a virtual internet meeting format (meeting agenda (PDF)). Co-Chairs Huang Shengchu (China), A.K. Debnath (India), and Felicia Ruiz (United States) presided over the meeting, welcoming 35 participants, including Partner Country delegates representing eight countries. Delegates from Australia, China, Colombia, India, Mongolia, Poland, the United States, and Vietnam highlighted recent developments in regulations affecting CMM projects and provided updates on recent and future CMM activities in their countries. Finally, the subcommittee discussed its action items and plans for 2014. The 20th session of the Coal Subcommittee will be held in conjunction with the 9th Session of the UNECE Group of Experts on CMM at the Palais des Nations, in Geneva, Switzerland, on 23 October 2014.

The Coal Subcommittee wishes to recognize Mr. B.N. Prasad, head of the Coalbed Methane (CBM) Unit at India's Central Mine Planning & Design Institute (CMPDI) and the Coal Mine Methane (CMM) Clearinghouse and Coal Subcommittee delegate for India. Mr. Prasad retired after 36 years working at CMPDI and has been one of the country's strongest advocates for the development of CBM, CMM, and ventilation air methane (VAM) technologies. He has worked with GMI since its inception, and we thank him for his many contributions over the past 10 years. Fortunately, Mr. Prasad will continue to advise CMPDI and support coal mine methane project development in India!

The Coal Subcommittee also welcomes Maria Victoria Reyes Mesa, Director of the Colombia Ministry of Mines and Energy's Environmental & Social Affairs Office, as an official delegate.


Municipal Solid Waste

At the March 2014 Tri-Sector Subcommittee Meeting in Brazil, Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) Subcommittee Co-Chair presented the findings of GMI research into the topic of AD for MSW. The subcommittee provided valuable feedback on these findings and offered suggestions of how the information could be enhanced or further developed for future use.

Municipal Wastewater

During the March 2014 Tri-Sector Subcommittee Meeting, the Municipal Wastewater Subcommittee continued its focus on developing country-specific wastewater Action Plans (PDF). These documents are useful tools in advancing wastewater project implementation, facilitating investment, and creating appropriate policy frameworks that support methane abatement, recovery, and use in GMI partner countries. Partner countries intend to develop draft Action Plans this year.

The subcommittee also recently finalized a sector fact sheet (PDF) that describes sources of wastewater methane; opportunities for methane abatement, recovery, and use; case studies in Chile and Brazil; and an overview of the role GMI's Municipal Wastewater Subcommittee plays in reducing wastewater methane emissions.

The Municipal Wastewater Subcommittee welcomes Tatsuya Abe of Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport & Tourism as a delegate.

Oil and Gas

The Oil & Gas Subcommittee held an in-person meeting on 12 May 2014 in San Antonio, Texas, USA, near the Eagle Ford Shale formation, one of the most actively drilled oil and gas areas in the United States. The meeting was co-located with the U.S. EPA Natural Gas STAR Annual Implementation Workshop, which took place 12 - 14 May 2014. Approximately 26 participants from 9 countries - Canada, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Norway, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom and United States - attended the Oil & Gas Subcommittee meeting. Attendees represented Partner Countries and Project Network members (e.g., oil and natural gas companies, service providers, academia, and non-governmental organizations).

New Country-Specific Action Plans for Colombia

Colombia recently submitted new Action Plans for Oil & Gas (PDF) and Coal (PDF), which are now available on the GMI website.

A main topic was the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) Oil & Gas Methane Partnership (PDF), which CCAC plans to officially launch soon. Also, during the meeting, participants continued their ongoing discussion on developing Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs). Several participants gave presentations on such efforts in their countries. GMI, CCAC, and NAMA development are all inter-related. Lastly, participants finalized the Oil & Gas Statement of Purpose. This document is intended to provide guidance and better articulate subcommittee mission, focus, and roles.

The Oil & Gas Subcommittee welcomes several new delegates:

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GMI Outreach

Asia

China, December 2013:

China, December 2013:

Indonesia, December 2013:

Phillipines, December 2013:

China and Mongolia, February 2014:

Indonesia, February 2014:

China, April 2014:

Europe

Ukraine, December 2013:

Italy, January 2014:

Ireland, February 2014:

Latin America

Brazil and Chile, December 2013:

Mexico, January 2014:

Mexico Wastewater Workshop GMI/U.S. EPA visits wastewater treatment plants in the Mexican state of Aguascalientes to assess methane recovery and use opportunities

Mexico, April 2014:

Middle East

Kuwait Oil Company signing ceremony Kuwait Oil Company's signing ceremony establishing membership in the Natural Gas STAR International program.

Qatar and Kuwait, November 2013:

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News from the Climate and Clean Air Coalition

The city of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia signed a formal Expression of Interest for participation in the City Assessment & Action Plan pillar of CCAC's Waste Initiative during a CCAC scoping mission. Representatives from the U.S. EPA, C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, and the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) collected information that will be used to develop a baseline scenario for the city and identify priority areas for actions under the initiative.

At a two-day meeting of the CCAC Working Group in Paris, France in April 2014, the Coalition agreed to invest a further $10 million on activities to reduce short-lived climate pollutants, ranging from efforts to reduce methane emissions from paddy rice production, to hydrofluorocarbon replacement technology demonstration projects, to the inauguration of a global strategy for ports and maritime vessel and raised clean fuel and vehicle standards in Western and Southern Africa. Read more about CCAC's new initiatives.

The CCAC Oil & Gas Methane Partnership launch is anticipated to occur in conjunction with the United Nations Climate Summit on September 23, 2014.

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Recent Developments and Resources

Methane Recovery Pre-feasibility Study Completed at Baganuur Mine, Mongolia
U.S. EPA's Coalbed Methane Outreach Program (CMOP), in support of GMI, has published a completed pre-feasibility study for CMM recovery and utilization (PDF) at Baganuur Mine, Mongolia. The study evaluated on-site use of pre-drained CMM to fuel an internal combustion power generation facility near the mine's surface facilities and determined that the project would generate 40,000 MWh of electricity annually once it reaches peak production, equal to approximately 5 MW of installed combined electrical and thermal generating capacity.

China Establishes Regulations Encouraging CBM Projects Across the Country
China's National Energy Administration (NEA) has published draft "Coalbed Methane Industry Regulations" encouraging all firms to participate in the exploration and utilization of CBM regardless of ownership. The regulations aim to establish two large industrialized CBM production foundations and resolve ownership issues, which hindered production by separating the right to extricate coal from the right to collect CBM. Learn more about these new regulations from the Guizhou International Cooperation Center for Environmental Protection.

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In this edition:

ASG Corner

Whitney Storr

In this edition of Methane International we say farewell to staff and subcommittee members who have contributed greatly to GMI. We also extend a warm welcome to new delegates to many of the subcommittees.

We would like to take this opportunity to bid farewell to Whitney Storr, our Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) Fellow. Many of you know Whitney for her timely and topical "methane in the news" postings on the GMI LinkedIn group. We welcome in Whitney's place ASG's new ORISE Fellow, Kristina Pflanz. Kristina recently completed a Master's degree in International Economics and Energy, Resources, & Environment at the Johns Hopkins University – School of Advanced International Studies.

We also invite you to subscribe to GMI's social media feeds in order to stay apprised on the latest GMI activities and relevant methane updates in the news. Please find us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Sincerely,

Henry Ferland
Henry Ferland
Co-Director, ASG

Monica Shimamura
Monica Shimamura
Co-Director, ASG