US sharing coal bed, coal mine methane expertise

A UKRAINIAN delegation will visit the US next month to learn about the country’s coal bed methane and coal mine methane industries and facilitate partnerships between the two countries, the US Trade and Development Agency told International Longwall News.

Donna Schmidt

The group, from the Ukraine’s Donbass coal region, will view CMM products, technologies and management methods in its visit on January 20-31, 2007.

The group will consist of eight coal mine specialists, representatives from the Donetsk Regional Government Administration and one US official from its Kiev Commercial Service office.

Ukraine Country Development manager Barbora Jemelkova outlined some details of the delegation’s itinerary upon arrival in Morgantown, West Virginia, where they will be part of a special business briefing, open to US companies and government representatives.

“The orientation visit will consist of meetings between the delegation and the various US government agencies and US firms, site visits of CBM operations, and a business briefing for interested parties to meet with the delegation,” she said.

The group will visit CBM sites in Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming. “Many of these CBM services and technologies can be used to develop pre-mine drainage wells on coal mine property, thereby qualifying the captured gas as CMM,” Jemelkova said.

The purpose of this visit, Jemelkova explained, is to present products and services used in the US that those in the Donetsk region may consider for their own projects under development.

The US will also gain from the visit, she said: “[It] provides an excellent opportunity for US companies to hear directly from the Ukrainians about the resource conditions in the Donetsk region and the technical needs and priorities of the CBM industry there [and] will give US firms a distinctive advantage as they compete with European and Japanese companies for exports.”

Jemelkova said other such delegations have been funded in the past from India, Botswana and China. In the case of Botswana, significant export revenue has already been realised from the connection and the potential is there for as much as $US50 million. “USTDA hopes for a similar outcome as a result of the Ukraine CBM [orientation visit].”

Those companies interested in taking part in the business briefing on coal bed and coal mining methane during the delegation’s visit may register with the agency.