.contact us |.about us
News > National News...
US$265m methane-gas move to improve coal-mine safety
( 2003-11-18 00:48) (China Daily)

The Chinese Government will invest 2.2 billion yuan (US$265 million) next year to enhance safety at the nation's coal mines.

The funds will improve the release of deadly methane gas, allowing it to drain deep from below underground coal beds through discharge systems.

The improvements are a bid to better use the methane as an energy resource rather than send it straight into the air where it can cause global warming. The gas can also cause deadly explosions, a frequent problem throughout China.

This year's investment for the same purpose totalled 2 billion yuan (US$240 million), according to Fan Weitang, chairman of the China National Coal Association, who spoke yesterday at the opening of the Third International Methane and Nitrous Oxide Mitigation Conference in Beijing.

Methane, as well as nitrous oxide, are two greenhouse gases that are considered responsible for heating up the earth's atmosphere.

Although the concentration of methane and nitrous oxide in the air is far less than that of carbon dioxide, their greenhouse effects are more than 20 to 300 times that of carbon dioxide, respectively, Fan said.

However, methane is different from carbon dioxide because it is also a form of energy, he said.

Reducing methane is therefore one of the most important and economical measures that can improve the environment while aiding economic development.

In another move, officials said 1 billion yuan (US$120 million) in treasury bonds have been allocated this year to help some 1.2 million rural families develop methane ponds.

Gao Shangbin with the Ministry of Agriculture released that figure at the conference yesterday.

Gao said methane ponds gather human and animal wastes and generate methane gases for daily use, such as cooking. Residue of the waste can continue to be used as fertilizer.

According to Gao, there are 11 million rural families in China using methane ponds with each pond generating some 200 to 300 cubic metres of methane per year.

"Climate change levies great impacts on China's agriculture and poses threats to food security. So the (agriculture) ministry attaches great importance to research on the reduction of greenhouse gases,'' he said.

According to Fan, the output of coal in China reached 1.3 billion tons last year and will surpass 1.5 billion tons this year. With that growth, coal bed methane discharges also increases.

Surveys done by the United Nations Development Programme and the US Environmental Protection Agency estimate that the annual coal bed methane emissions in China stands at 12 billion cubic metres.

In comparison, only about 1.1 billion cubic metres of coal bed methane in China was taken out through drainage systems last year. The amount was 16.9 per cent more than that in 2001, Fan said.

The Chinese Government has considered coal bed methane a spare energy resource after oil and natural gas and has designed preferential policies for the development of coal bed methane, he said.

For example, projects that drain and make use of coal bed methane can be exempt from income taxes for five years.

  Today's Top News   Top National News
+Perilous warnings given to Chen Shui-bian
( 2003-11-18)
+US visa hurdle turns students away from TOEFL
( 2003-11-18)
+HK lures mainland firms to raise capital
( 2003-11-18)
+Miracle's ray of hope hits home
( 2003-11-18)
+Chinese internet firms lines up for IPOs
( 2003-11-18)
+Shanghai gears up for baby boom
( 2003-11-18)
+Clean-up of chemical spill starts
( 2003-11-18)
+US$265m methane-gas move to improve coal-mine safety
( 2003-11-18)
+Miracle's ray of hope hits home
( 2003-11-18)
+US visa hurdle turns students away from TOEFL
( 2003-11-18)
  Go to Another Section  
  Article Tools  
  Related Articles  

+Investigation team to probe coal mine blast in Jiangxi

+Eleven missing miners unlikely to survive

+Nine in ten coal mines small and poorly-equipped

+China vows to improve work safety in coal mines

+Coal mine accident kills four in central China province

+Hopes fade for 14 trapped miners

+Coal mine blast kills seven in Guangxi

+Slim chance of survival for 18 trapped miners

        .contact us |.about us
  Copyright By chinadaily.com.cn. All rights reserved