Issue 35, October 2014

Methane International

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The Global Methane Initiative Update

Developing a Community-Based Landfill Gas Utilization Project in Brazil

Global Methane Initiative (GMI) project partners have completed the second phase of development of a community-based landfill gas (LFG) utilization project in Maracanau, Brazil. Using funding from GMI, experience from the Appalachian State University (ASU) Energy Center in North Carolina, USA, and an array of partners in Maracanau, the project is becoming a reality and a model for other communities in Brazil and throughout Latin America.

Maracanau's community-based LFG utilization project The community of Maracanau, Brazil, where the ASU Energy Center developed a community-based LFG utilization project.

The Maracanau Landfill Project began with a preliminary grant funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) in 2009 and has continued with a second development grant from GMI, awarded in 2011. The ASU Energy Center has partnered with the Maracanau municipal government, the ANIMA Institute of Sustainable Technology, the Federal University of Ceara, the University of Fortaleza, and the Catadores Association of Maracanau (COOMVIDA).

In addition to supporting the Maracanau community with biogas, the project is specifically designed to work with Maracanau's population of catadores, or waste-pickers. About 75 families in the municipality subsist as catadores.

Project leaders, including leaders from COOMVIDA, hope that the project will result in better, safer, and higher-paying jobs for the catadores—some have already moved into jobs collecting, sorting, and shipping recyclables from the landfill's waste stream. The project team hopes that they can add significant value—and project income—once they install a processing center for glass and plastics.

The second phase of work on the Maracanau landfill has seen several key accomplishments. The project has been successfully developed and project control is transitioning to a local governing organization, the Maracanau Green Methane Committee. The committee has approved a construction-ready design for the LFG energy project site and developed an integrated business plan. The plan comes with secured funding sources for pieces of the project and lays out expected income sources, including supplemental income sources such as the value-added recyclables from the catadores and the sale of carbon credits. The plan demonstrates the viability and duplicability of a project of this size, which will help the project gain support across public and private organizations in Brazil.

For more about the Maracanau Landfill Project, review the final project report (PDF, 25pp, 2.16MB).

GMI Builds Momentum with Indonesia's Oil & Gas Sector

More than 80 participants from about 20 companies, government ministries, and universities attended the third Asia Pacific GMI Oil & Gas Sector Workshop, hosted by Indonesia's Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources in Bandung, Indonesia, on 27–28 August 2014. The workshop's first day brought together key government representatives and industry leaders from Southeast Asia to discuss how practical methane mitigation in the oil & gas sector will help Indonesia achieve its ambitious national climate protection goal. Keynote speakers from the Indonesian government reinforced their commitments to GMI and assured their support for expanding the program in Indonesia. Industry speakers shared their practical experiences with GMI and their plans to identify, measure, and reduce methane emissions. The conference concluded with a speech from His Excellency the Vice Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, who encouraged the oil and gas industry to take quick action to implement GMI's practical solutions, and was punctuated by Pertamina E&P signing the Natural Gas STAR International Memorandum of Understanding.

On the second day of the workshop, more than 60 participants travelled to a Pertamina production facility in Subang for a field demonstration of methane emission detection and quantification equipment. Participants had the opportunity to learn firsthand how critical tools, including the infrared gas imaging camera and high-flow sampler, are used in the field to quickly detect methane emissions and measure the volume of gas losses. The field demonstration showed how advanced analytical tools can improve methane management and increase operational efficiency and safety.

The U.S. EPA conducted a field methane emissions measurement study with its Natural Gas STAR International Partner, VICO Indonesia, at several oil and gas production facilities from 30 August to 3 September 2014. In addition to finding and measuring methane emissions at VICO's operational facilities in East Kalimantan, this study provided hands-on training to VICO staff to help improve their use of leak detection and measurement equipment. The study's findings will lay the foundation for future VICO projects to recover and utilize methane that might otherwise be lost to the atmosphere.

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Subcommittee Updates


The Agriculture Subcommittee conducted a Web-based meeting on 16 September. Topics discussed included the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) Agriculture Initiative, the GMI report A Global Perspective of Anaerobic Digestion Policies and Incentives, and plans for GMI post-2015. In addition, the Administrative Support Group (ASG) provided an update on its activities including the development of a methane video/infographic and plans for an all-Partnership meeting in 2015. Guest speakers at the meeting included Jeroen Dijkman and Theun Vellinga (representing the manure management component of the CCAC Agriculture Initiative) and Harry Clark (representing the enteric fermentation component of the CCAC Agriculture Initiative).

A Global Perspective of Anaerobic Digestion Policies and Incentives is expected to be published on the GMI website in November. This guide was created to promote the adoption of policies and incentives that can expand implementation of anaerobic digestion. It will summarize general information about the types of measures being enacted, as well as provide examples from countries around the world. More in-depth information about the policies and incentives will also be available from the GMI website as a series of downloadable spreadsheets.

The U.S. EPA's Coalbed Methane Outreach Program is hosting the 2014 U.S. Coal Mine Methane Conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, on 18-20 November. Participants will hear from industry leaders and experts on the latest technology, policy, market, and legal developments affecting U.S. and international mine methane industries at coal and non-coal mines. For more information and to register, visit the conference website.

The U.S. EPA is developing a resource assessment (RA) for Indonesia to determine which agriculture sectors have the greatest potential for methane reductions in that country. As part of this work, the U.S. EPA has gathered data, interviewed local experts, and visited cassava and swine operations to help characterize the industries and the waste management practices they use. The RA also is planned to be finalized by the end of the year.


The Coal Subcommittee will convene its 20th meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, on 22 October 2014 (agenda and materials) in conjunction with the 9th Session of the UNECE Group of Experts on Coal Mine Methane. At this meeting, the group will discuss the outcomes of the Steering Committee meeting. The Co-Chairs will provide an overview on both new and updated Coal Subcommittee products and will give both GMI Partner Countries and Project Network members an opportunity to deliver updates to the group.

Municipal Solid Waste

The next Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) Subcommittee meeting will be Internet-based, and is scheduled for the week of 17 November. In conjunction with the next meeting, GMI is developing training materials for anaerobic digestion (AD) of MSW, which will be presented for discussion at the meeting. The PowerPoint slide deck describes the AD process and considerations for adoption of AD for MSW. The slide deck is designed to be interactive, making it easy to navigate between sections and tailor the presentation to specific audiences in a classroom setting.

In addition, GMI will conduct LFG best practices workshops in Bulgaria and Serbia the week of December 8. Each workshop will consist of one day in the classroom and one day at a landfill to apply classroom principles to field conditions (attendees will learn about gas system design, operations and maintenance, and monitoring and will have access to testing equipment.) The audience is primarily municipal landfill operators and other solid waste management professionals in these countries.

Grigor Stoyanov, Bulgaria's delegate to the MSW Subcommittee, will be leaving his position at the Ministry of Environment and Water to pursue other opportunities. GMI thanks him for his contributions and wishes him well in his endeavors.

Municipal Wastewater

Members of the Municipal Wastewater (MWW) Subcommittee continue to develop country-specific wastewater Action Plans (PDF, 3pp, 107KB). During the GMI tri-sector best practices workshop and MWW Subcommittee meeting, which took place in Florianopolis, Brazil, on 14 March 2014, country-specific Action Plans were described as 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.

For the past few months, the MWW Subcommittee has also been in discussions with the Water Environment Federation (WEF) to hold a workshop as part of WEF's 2015 Water and Energy Conference, being held in Washington, D.C., USA, 7–10 June 2015. The GMI workshop will bring together international and domestic MWW stakeholders to discuss technical, policy, and financial issues related to wastewater methane abatement, recovery, and use. It will also serve as an opportunity to introduce GMI and its activities to people unfamiliar with them, while helping existing partners to solidify and reaffirm their commitment to GMI. Objectives of this workshop include:

  • Introduce wastewater, biogas, and climate modeling tools.
  • Learn about wastewater methane abatement, recovery, and use technologies and practices.
  • Identify international project opportunities.
  • Highlight project success stories.
  • Update attendees on the MWW Subcommittee's objectives and activities.
  • Solidify participation in GMI and spark continued efforts to reduce wastewater methane emissions.

The MWW Subcommittee plans to hold its next meeting online in November 2014. Topics will include country-specific wastewater Action Plans and planning for the 2015 WEF workshop.

Oil and Gas

The Oil & Gas Subcommittee recently finalized its Statement of Purpose (PDF, 5pp, 424KB). This document lays out the subcommittee's goals and identifies how other organizations might help achieve them, defines primary key stakeholders, and communicates these stakeholders' roles. The document was created by the subcommittee Co-Chairs with input from delegates and Project Network members. Moving forward, the subcommittee agreed to periodically review and, as appropriate, revise the Statement of Purpose to make sure it accurately reflects the subcommittee's strengths and external regulatory, political, and economic opportunities. The ASG and subcommittee Co-Chairs will be sure everyone is aware of future revisions to this cornerstone document, which provides the overriding direction and purpose of the subcommittee.

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GMI Outreach


Ethiopia, July 2014, MSW:

  • Reviewed the city of Addis Ababa's priorities with respect to improving its MSW management; discussed opportunities for integrating these priorities into activities that support the CCAC MSW Initiative's goal of reducing emissions of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) from the waste sector.
  • Observed waste management practices—including a site visit to watch waste operations at a fruit market—and collected data on waste generation, collection, transportation, and disposal in order to complete a CCAC City Assessment and an SLCP emission baseline estimate.
  • Met with key stakeholders, especially from the city government of Addis Ababa, to identify additional opportunities for collaboration and to secure support for current activities.

South Africa, August 2014, Coal:

  • Participated in the 10th International Mine Ventilation Congress in Sun City, South Africa.
  • During the Congress, presented in a technical session on mine methane utilization success stories and project opportunities. The Congress was well-attended by GMI Partner Country representatives and Project Network members and also included exhibits and mine site tours.
  • Met with South African government officials and U.S. embassy officials to discuss coal mine methane (CMM) activities and the potential for South Africa to join GMI. South Africa is the largest emitter of CMM on the African continent.


Mongolia, June 2014, Coal:

Workshop on Recovery and Utilization Participants at the CMM recovery and utilization workshop in Ulaanbaatar.

Philippines, June 2014, Agriculture:

  • Conducted a follow-up technical support mission in coordination with the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) and the World Bank to support methane recovery from pig farms. The mission focused on delivering livestock-based training that expanded on previous technical trainings. The training was given to the LBP regional livestock technical team, including staff responsible for the landfill sector.

China, July 2014, Coal:

  • Presented the preliminary findings of a GMI-funded CMM pre-feasibility study to the management of Mopanshan Mine.
  • Visited the Qinglong Mine, a prior recipient of a GMI-funded pre-feasibility study conducted by the Guizhou International Cooperation Center for Environmental Protection.
  • Met with the Guizhou International Cooperation Center for Environmental Protection to discuss proess and deliverables under a GMI grant.
  • Met with national- and provincial-level officials from the Department of Climate Change in the National Development and Reform Commission and the Guizhou Environmental Protection Department.


Poland, June 2014, MSW:

Serbia, Bosnia, and Bulgaria, June 2014, MSW:

Anaerobic digester tanks in Sofia, Bulgaria
Wastewater treatment plant including anaerobic digesters to produce electricity in Sofia, Bulgaria.

  • In Serbia, met with representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture and Environment to discuss the status of landfills and waste management in the country, including the potential for updating Serbia's current methane Action Plan.
  • In Bosnia, toured the Brijesnica Landfill, Bijeljina, to evaluate a planned LFG infrared heater project that is funded by a U.S. EPA Cooperative Agreement.
  • In Bulgaria, met with Sofia government representatives and the Ministry of Environment and Water (a GMI delegate) to support the adoption of a waste methane Action Plan (view in Bulgarian (PDF, 4pp, 68KB) and English (PDF, 4pp, 62KB)) and toured a new state-of-the-art food waste anaerobic digestion and composting plant.

Middle East

Jordan, May 2014, MSW:

  • Attended and participated in SWEEP-Net's 4th Regional Forum on Solid Waste Management. This included a panel presentation to introduce the CCAC MSW Initiative to solid waste stakeholders from the Middle East and North Africa.
  • Met with representatives of the Greater Amman Municipality to discuss the city's priorities in solid waste management. The delegation had the chance to visit the two city landfills and a private recycling center.
  • Met officials from the Ministry of Environment to discuss Jordan's participation in the CCAC MSW Initiative. Also met with representatives of the U.S. Agency for International Development to learn more about its activities in Jordan and explore areas of potential collaboration.

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News from the Climate and Clean Air Coalition

On 23 September 2014, CCAC officially launched its Oil & Gas Methane Partnership. Six founding companies and key technical partners, including the U.S. EPA and State Department, the Environmental Defense Fund, and the United Kingdom's Department of Energy and Climate Change, were present at the launch, which was held at the UN Secretary General's Climate Summit in New York. Founding partners, four of whom are in the top 25 gas producers globally, are PEMEX of Mexico, ENI of Italy, Statoil of Norway, BG Group of the UK, PTT of Thailand, and Southwestern Energy of the United States. The International Energy Agency identifies minimizing methane emissions from upstream oil and gas production as one of four key global opportunities for greenhouse gas mitigation. The Oil & Gas Methane Partnership, which gives oil and gas companies a mechanism to address their methane emissions and disclose their actions to stakeholders and the public, was developed following a year-long consultation process conducted by CCAC.

In July 2014, the U.S. EPA led a team of experts to Accra, Ghana, and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to provide technical and capacity building support on behalf of the CCAC's MSW Initiative. In Accra, the team met with the city government to discuss data collection efforts and the status of the CCAC work plan. The team also provided technical training to city officials and relevant stakeholders on landfill operations and LFG management, as part of a 3-day course on landfill design and operations. In Addis Ababa, the team (1) met with the city government to review the city's waste management priorities and current efforts; (2) observed waste management practices in operation and collected data on waste generation, collection, transportation, and disposal, in order to complete a CCAC City Assessment and SLCP emissions baseline estimation; and (3) met with key stakeholders to identify additional opportunities for collaboration and to secure support for current activities.

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Recent Developments and Resources

Colombia Advancing First CBM Projects
Colombia, a GMI Partner Country, recently approved regulations for the promotion of methane use from mining operations that encourage the development of CMM and CBM. The two largest coal miners in Colombia, Cerrejon and Drummond, have just announced an agreement to develop the first CBM projects in the country.

Bulgaria Includes GMI Waste Sector Methane Action Plan in National Law
Bulgaria's Ministry of Environment and Water, including former GMI MSW Subcommittee delegate Grigor Stoyanov, has developed a waste sector methane Action Plan for Bulgaria (view in Bulgarian (PDF, 4pp, 68KB) and English (PDF, 4pp, 62KB)). The plan was recently incorporated in the country's National Solid Waste Management Program—the first time a GMI Action Plan has been adopted as part of a country's solid waste management law. It will provide a road map for the advancement of LFG recovery and use projects, outlining methane emission reduction goals and aligning mitigation opportunities across Bulgaria.

World Bank Announces Pilot Auction Facility for Methane and Climate Mitigation
The World Bank Group announced the launch of an innovative, pay-for-performance mechanism that uses auctions to allocate scarce public funds and attract private sector investment to projects that reduce methane emissions, taking advantage of the accounting methodologies and infrastructure already in place for implementation (e.g., methodologies and verification processes established under the Clean Development Mechanism).

The key objective of the Pilot Auction Facility for Methane and Climate Mitigation (PAF) is to demonstrate a new, cost-effective climate finance mechanism that incentivizes private sector investment and action in developing countries by providing a guaranteed floor price on carbon reduction credits.

The first round of auctions under the PAF is expected in 2015.

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In this edition:

ASG Corner

2014 marks GMI's 10-year anniversary, and we have a lot of accomplishments to report. In the past 10 years, GMI has expanded to include 43 Partner Countries across six continents whose methane emissions account for approximately 70 percent of global emissions from targeted sources across the agriculture, coal mines, municipal solid waste, oil & gas, and municipal wastewater sectors. GMI has grown its Project Network to 1,300 entities, leveraged approximately $530 million, trained more than 13,000 people, and supported projects globally that have reduced cumulative greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 300 MMTCO2E.

In the coming months, we will begin to discuss the next phase of GMI, starting with a Steering Committee meeting on 16–17 October 2014 in Montreal, Canada (GMI's charter is set to expire in October 2015). We will be soliciting your participation and feedback over the next 12 months as we work on this. Your opinions on the future of GMI are valuable, and we look forward to continued collaboration as we move forward. Onward and upward!


Henry Ferland
Co-Director, ASG

Monica Shimamura
Co-Director, ASG