Methane to Markets tapping into big opportunities

AS THE industry enters a new year, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Methane to Markets Partnership continues to grow and prosper. International Longwall News spoke with the EPA’s Coalbed Methane Outreach Program team leader, Pamela Franklin, about the partnership’s progress.

Donna Schmidt

“Nineteen countries have joined the program since its launch in November 2004, including Germany, which joined in July 2006,” she said, adding that Poland extended a formal request last year and joined in December 2006.

Franklin also expanded upon the developments with regards to methane opportunities that were seized in 2006, enforcing the group’s mission.

“One example is in May 2006, [when] US-based engine manufacturer Caterpillar, with assistance from EPA, secured a $58 million contract from China to supply the power generation equipment for the world's largest power plant fuelled by coal mine methane,” she said.

“Once completed, an estimated 40 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions will be avoided over a 20-year period.”

The partnership is currently working hard on its Partnership Expo, which has been scheduled for October 29-November 1, 2007 in Beijing, China at the China World Hotel. Franklin said the event will be four days of technical and policy sessions and a large exhibition area is also being set up; the group’s steering and subcommittee meetings will also be held during the event.

“The purpose of the expo is to showcase project opportunities and bring them together with vendors, project developers and financiers,” she said.

“It will also serve as an opportunity to share case studies as well as to learn about new developments in project financing [and] technologies.”

Franklin added that there will be sponsorship opportunities for the expo, including booth/exhibit space.

For more information about the Partnership Expo and plans that the Methane to Markets Partnership has for the year, check out the March 2007 edition of American Longwall Magazine.