U.S. Company to Supply Power-Generation Equipment to China

Washington - With direct assistance from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other federal partners, U.S. engine manufacturer Caterpillar Inc. received a $58 million contract from China to supply power generation equipment for the world's largest power plant fueled by methane from coal mines.

The project is the result of collaborative efforts between the public and private sectors through the Methane to Markets Partnership, a U.S.-led initiative that now includes 17 partner countries, including China, according to a May 18 EPA press release.

The power plant will produce 120 megawatts of electricity from coal-bed and coal-mine methane from the Sihe Mine in China, in addition to exhaust-gas heat that will be recovered to produce hot water and steam for the mining operations.

Once the project is complete, an estimated 4.5 million tons of carbon-dioxide-equivalent emissions will be avoided each year. This is equal to emissions from 1 million cars annually.

"Pollution knows no political boundaries,” said William Wehrum, EPA acting assistant administrator for air and radiation, “and in the U.S. we recognize that our environmental responsibility does not stop at our borders."

The project supports the goals of the Methane to Markets Partnership and the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate, of which China and the United States are members. (See related article.)

The Asia-Pacific partnership, initiated earlier in 2006, promotes energy security and reductions in air pollution and global greenhouse gas emissions.

The Methane to Markets Partnership was launched in November 2004 to advance cost-effective, near-term methane recovery and use as a source of clean energy. Methane is a greenhouse gas that can be used as a clean energy source.

The U.S. government is committing up to $53 million over the next five years to support the methane partnership.

EPA has helped facilitate this and other coal-mine methane projects in China through support of the coal bed and coal mine methane clearinghouse in China, which serves as a focal point for international and domestic investors and project developers.

Additional information about the Methane to Markets Partnership is available at the EPA Web site.

The full text of the press release is available on the EPA Web site.