EDMONTON - January 10, 2005

A $10 million joint project between the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the Chinese Ministry of Commerce to reduce greenhouse gas emissions has successfully completed stage one testing in China. The project, led in part by the Alberta Research Council (ARC), has successfully demonstrated the viability of storing carbon dioxide (CO2) in deep, unmineable coalbeds, and of enhancing coalbed methane (ECBM) recovery by CO2 injection.

“This is an exciting result for this project,” says Bill Gunter, a distinguished research scientist with ARC’s Carbon & Energy Management business. “It provides us with technical proof that coal seams in this part of China are permeable and stable enough to absorb CO2, and enhance methane production, which leads to a clean energy source for China. The next step for us will be to design and implement a multi-well pilot phase and to evaluate the commercial prospects of this technology.”

The pilot test was conducted in the South Qinshui Basin, Shanxi Province, from October 2003 to August 2004.

“This is promising technology and the Government of Canada is more than pleased to provide funding and support to help realize its full potential,” says David Spring, director general, China Division, CIDA. “Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is a serious concern to governments worldwide and we want to do our part to help reduce global warming.

“It also demonstrates China's commitment to an advanced level of implementation around CO2 sequestration technology and that country's great desire to reduce greenhouse gases.”

The development of China’s CBM Technology/CO2 Sequestration Project was initiated in 2002 as a technology transfer project from Canada to China. The project was designed to demonstrate the viability of storing CO2 in deep unmineable coal as well as enhanced CBM recovery by CO2 injection.

The Canadian Government (via the Canadian International Development Agency-CIDA) and the Chinese Government (via the Ministry of Commerce-MOFCOM) signed a memorandum of understanding to implement a CO2 Enhanced CBM Recovery project in China. CIDA contributed $5 million to the project, funded under the Canadian Climate Change Development Fund.
China made an equal contribution in in-kind services through the China United Coalbed Methane Co. Ltd. (CUCBM). ARC, Sproule International and the Computer Modelling Group (CMG) led the Canadian Consortium, which is the Canadian Executing Agency (CEA) and provides the core technology of the project for China.

China is a country in economic, social and political transformation. It still experiences a high level of poverty, increasing inequitable growth and serious environmental challenges. CIDA is helping China make a positive transition, and ARC is helping it develop cleaner sources of energy as a means of reducing the impact of its greenhouse gas emissions on human health and global climate change.

China has an estimated 333,000 billion cubic metres of coalbed methane at depths less than 2,000 metres underground, and currently emits six billion cubic metres of methane from mining operations each year.

Alberta Research Council Inc. develops and commercializes technologies to give clients a competitive advantage. A leader in innovation, ARC provides solutions globally to the energy, life sciences, agriculture, environment, forestry and manufacturing sectors.


For more information, contact:

Jodi Tauber
Corporate Relations
Alberta Research Council Inc.
Edmonton, AB
Tel: (780) 450-5062

Media Relations Office
Canadian International Development Agency
Tel: (819) 953-6534