Thursday, May 18, 2006

Power generation from coal mine methane

Caterpillar Inc. has landed a $58 million contract from China to supply the power generation equipment for the world's largest power plant fueled by coal mine methane. This project is the result of the Methane to Markets Partnership, a U.S. led initiative that now includes 17 countries.

Eventually the power plant will produce 120 megawatts of electricity from coalbed and coal mine methane from the Sihe mine, in addition to exhaust gas heat that will be recovered to produce usable hot water and steam for the mining operations. Once the project has been completed, it's estimated that 4.5 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions will be avoided each year. This is equal to emissions from approximately one million cars annually.

The Methane to Markets Partnership was launched in November 2004 to advance cost-effective, near-term methane recovery and use as a source of clean energy. Methane is a greenhouse gas.

The U.S. Government is committing up to $53 million over the next five years to support the Methane to Markets Partnership. The coalbed and coal mine methane clearinghouse in China serves as a focal point for international and domestic investors and project developers.

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