China eyes increased coalbed methane output

Updated: 2012-01-03 09:15


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BEIJING - China will try to extract 30 billion cubic meters of coalbed methane in 2015 as part of the country's efforts to reduce deadly coal mine accidents and develop a clean energy industry, according to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

The top economic planner of China said that the installed capacity of coalbed methane-fueled power generation would exceed 2.85 million kilowatts and satisfy the residential need of 3.2 million households by 2015.

Through such efforts, authorities aim to bring down gas-related coal mine accidents and deaths in 2015 both by at least 40 percent from the 2010 levels, according to the NDRC.

A total of 593 miners died in 135 gas-related accidents in China's coal mines in 2010, according to NDRC data.

While frequently developed with petroleum, methane also occurs in association with coal and sometimes causes deadly gas explosion or other accident inside coal mines.

The NDRC considers the extraction of coalbed methane an effective way to curb fatal accidents.

The country's potential reserves of coalbed methane are estimated at 36.81 trillion cubic meters, with proved reserves hitting 273.4 billion cubic meters, according to the NDRC.

During the 11th Five-year Plan period ending 2010, China developed 9.5 billion cubic meters of coalbed methane, which equaled saving 11.5 million tonnes of coal equivalent and reducing the emission of carbon dioxide by 142.5 million tonnes.

During the new five-year plan period to the end of 2015, China aims to extract 65.8 billion cubic meters of coalbed methane, which, if comes true, will help save 79.62 million tonnes of coal equivalent and reduce 990 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emission.

Since 2011, China has eliminated tariffs and value-added taxes on equipment and components used to develop coalbed methane refining in mines to quicken the exploration of gas stored in coal beds.