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Canadian, Colorado Companies Enter Into Agreement To Reduce Methane Emissions From Closed Cambria 33 Mine

The Inlandsis Fund, established in Québec, and Vessels Coal Gas Inc., a Colorado-based firm, Tuesday announced they have entered into a long-term agreement to dramatically reduce the emissions of methane from the Cambria 33 mine.

The mine, which ceased operations in 1994, is located in Ebensburg, Cambria County.

Methane is the second largest source of greenhouse gases, contributing an estimated 20 percent to climate change. VCG uses an enclosed combustor to capture and destroy methane emissions from the mine.

The project began operating in June 2018.

According to David Moffat, CEO of the Inlandsis Fund, "an expertise in financing tied to carbon credits is central to making this project happen." In this case, the credits are generated in the linked California-Québec carbon markets.

The project replaces an earlier methane reduction project that recovered the methane for generation of electricity and injection into a nearby natural gas utility pipeline. The drop in natural gas prices forced that project to end in 2015. 

During that period, VCG captured 624,731 mcf of methane, equivalent to reducing nearly one million tons of CO2, the annual emissions from over 210,000 passenger vehicles. 

Tom Vessels, CEO and president of VCG, is very pleased at how the technical, financial, and environmental aspects of the current project have aligned for success-- "From a technical perspective, our team has over twenty years of experience developing and managing mine methane reduction projects. From a financial perspective, the innovative capital of Inlandsis has been essential to achieving our economic and environmental goals."   

Vessels Coal Gas Inc. has implemented three other MMC projects that have generated offset credits in the WCI carbon market. 

VCG installed the North Fork Energy LLC Bear Creek Combustors which commenced operations on the abandoned Elk Creek Mine in Colorado in 2017. 

VCG installed the 3MW LLC electricity generation and the North Fork Energy LLC Elk Creek combustor both on the then active Elk Creek Mine which commenced operations in 2012 and have continued to operate after the mine's closure in 2016. 

All three Colorado projects have together captured 3,285,445 mcf of methane, equivalent to over five million tonnes of CO2, the annual emissions from over 1,100,000 passenger vehicles. 

Vessels Cambria 33 Resources LLC (VCG 33), a subsidiary of VCG, was created in 2007 to develop the Cambria 33 MMC project.  It is responsible for operating and overseeing the current methane combustion project.

The Inlandsis Fund was established by Fondaction, a $1.9 billion labour-sponsored fund based in Montreal (QC), and Coop Carbone in 2017 with a shared commitment to harness markets to address climate change.

Capitalized by Fondaction, Inlandsis is the only Canadian fund, and one of a handful globally, that exclusively finances carbon emission reductions. It offers a unique project finance solution that provides upfront capital in return for carbon credits – a critical innovation for making many carbon reduction projects a reality.

The Fund deploys a variety of financing structures and is able to quickly close investments. Its growing portfolio includes 25 projects in Alberta and linked California & Quebec carbon markets.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported coal bed methane recovery projects in Pennsylvania produced 10 billion cubic feet of methane in 2016 (the latest year available).

DEP’s draft 2017 Pennsylvania Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventory reports greenhouse gas emissions from coal mining and abandoned coal mines were 10.65 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2014.           

To learn more about coal bed methane in Pennsylvania, visit DCNR’s Methane From Coal webpage.

Related Stories:

Bloomberg Philanthropies Names Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, 2 Other Cities Winners In American Cities Climate Challenge

Canadian, Colorado Companies Enter Into Agreement To Reduce Methane Emissions From Closed Cambria 33 Mine

New National Wildlife Federation Unnatural Disaster Interactive Map On Growing Climate Impacts

[Posted: Oct. 23, 2018]


10/29/2018

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