Sindicatum completes first demonstration of Near Zero Emissions Mining

Sindicatum Sustainable Resources Group, along with its Chinese partners Shanxi Coking Coal Group and Xishan Coal and Electricity Company, are delighted to announce that they have successfully established the world’s first demonstration of the principle of near zero methane emission mining (“nZEM”) at the Duerping coal mine in Shanxi Province, China.

At Duerping, a ventilation air methane (VAM) abatement project, together with a coal mine methane (CMM) capture and utilisation project, combine:

  • The use of gas captured in the mine for power generation and heat recovery;
  • The destruction by flaring of any unused gas; and,
  • The abatement of the uncaptured gas which has been diluted in the air stream of the mine to allow safe working.

The CMM co-generation plant is fully operational and the final component in the picture is the VAM abatement project which achieved registration under the Clean Development Mechanism on 13 February 2012. The VAM abatement equipment is under construction and the first phase of the installation will be completed by September 2012. The full set of VAM equipment will reduce emissions of the very dilute methane in ventilation air by 200,000t CO2 equivalent each year.

Each year, the nZEM project will reduce methane emissions from Duerping coal mine by up to 536,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent and in excess of 70,000MWh of clean power will be generated. Waste heat is recovered and used to heat the mine intake air in the cold winters replacing polluting coal boilers and improving underground working conditions. Improved road infrastructure to access the CMM power plant site has benefitted the communications and trade of surrounding villages. Jobs have been created to support construction, site operations and the new service industries needed to support the imported equipment and technology.

Two technologies are being employed to destroy the ventilation air methane, thermal oxidation and catalytic oxidation. The latter, known as the “CH4MIN” technology has been licenced exclusively to Sindicatum by Natural Resources, Canada (NRCan) who are also providing technical support. The Duerping VAM project marks the world’s first commercial full-scale demonstration of the CH4MIN technology at a coal mine.

The equipment and installation is being designed, constructed and installed by Megtec Inc. and its Shanghai subsidiary, world leaders in the manufacture and supply of VAM technology. The equipment is fully financed by Sindicatum, who are also supervising the construction of the project on behalf of its Chinese partner.

Dr. David Creedy, Sindicatum’s Managing Director of Coal Mine Methane said: “Sindicatum is steadfastly committed to the abatement of methane emissions from coal mining, one of the world’s major sources of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. We are adamant that a global strategy for reducing emissions from coal mining is a must if the world leadership is serious about mitigating climate change, and we are proving every day that the technology needed to achieve near zero emissions mining can and does work.”

About Sindicatum’s activities in Coal Mine Methane

Sindicatum has financed and oversees the operations of CMM powerplants with heat recovery and flaring of unused gas at Duerping, Tunlan and Malan coal mines in Shanxi Province, China. These plants provide a total of 27MW of clean power generation. By the end of 2011, over 192,000MWh of electricity had been produced and cumulative methane emissions reduced equivalent to 1,154,690 t of CO2. Sindicatum’s international engineering team is working with the coal mines to ensure gas flows and qualities are maintained and also to enhance gas management and underground safety. The combination of three CMM and one VAM project will eliminate 1 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent of methane emissions annually.  On the CMM project sites alone some 65 new jobs have been created.

Sindicatum, through its U.S. company Verdeo, plans to develop a similar scale of coal mine related projects in the United States and a first VAM abatement project is already in the final stages of construction at the McElroy mine in West Virginia, one of the largest underground coal mines in the U.S.   The project will reduce emissions by approximately 380,000t of CO2 equivalent per year when it becomes operational in the second quarter of 2012.

About Sindicatum Sustainable Resources Group

Sindicatum develops, operates and finances projects that reduce greenhouse gases in certain industries and produce sustainable resources (clean energy, biogas, biomass, water and physical commodities) and emission reductions and other environmental commodities.  Sindicatum provides the in-house expertise and finance required to originate, develop and operate such projects throughout their development and operational lifetime.   Sindicatum’s projects fall into four keys sectors: agricultural solutions, municipal waste to energy, coal mine methane and low carbon energy and include the development and operation of 33 fully financed projects worldwide.

The theme of resource scarcity is central to Sindicatum’s strategy. Sindicatum believes that, globally, economic development (and thus increasing demand for resources) will continue to strain natural resources worldwide.  Sindicatum’s investment thesis is based on the premise that such macro-trends will have an extremely important influence on the pricing of increasingly scarce resources such as energy, water, agricultural resources and clean air.  Consequently Sindicatum’s aim is to produce long term supplies of these sustainable products.

Sindicatum’s investors include three leading US university endowments, five prominent US charitable foundations and global financial institutions representing the commodity, banking, insurance and alternative investment sectors.

For more information on Sindicatum visit

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