12.01.2018 PGNiG, PGG, JSW and Tauron to cooperate on extraction of coal bed methane (CBM)
Executives of the mining and energy companies have signed a letter of intent in Katowice to streamline the development of the Geo-Metan project, which will help increase Poland’s output of natural gas, reduce coal production costs and improve the safety of miners working underground.
The purpose of Geo-Metan is to develop and enhance Polish home-grown CBM exploration and pre-mining extraction technologies. The cooperation between Polskie Górnictwo Naftowe i Gazownictwo SA, Polska Grupa Górnicza, Jastrzębska Spółka Węglowa SA and Tauron Polska Energia SA will enable CBM exploration and extraction operations to be carried out in future coal producing areas.
“CBM has potential to considerably improve our national energy security. What is more, the reduction of methane content in coal seams will significantly increase the safety of hard coal mining and may accelerate coal production. I am happy that other Polish mining and energy companies are going to partner with PGNiG to develop our own CBM extraction technologies,” says Piotr Woźniak, President of the Management Board of PGNiG SA.
“Owner of three hard coal mines, the TAURON Group is naturally interested in developing innovative CBM recovery and removal technologies. It is also in line with the National Strategy for Responsible Development to domestically develop and improve such mining-related solutions,” notes Filip Grzegorczyk, President of the Management Board of TAURON Polska Energia. “The implementation of such innovations is an element of our policy to improve occupational safety and enhance the performance of our mines,” he adds.
“The PGG mines have applied CBM drainage methods for many years as part of their ongoing effort to prevent methane risks and ensure the safety of miners and mining operations. Currently, the recovered methane is used as an energy source in heating and cogeneration plants for combined heat and power production by gas engines. For PGG, further cooperation with our partners offers an opportunity to increase the efficiency of CBM removal through the application of directional drilling of boreholes from underground workings over planned coal production areas,” says Tomasz Rogala, President of the Management Board of PGG.
“Methane is an extremely hazardous gas occurring in hard coal deposits. The more gas we capture and use to produce electricity, the greater the environmental benefits from reduced greenhouse emissions into the atmosphere. As a coal producer committed to environmental protection, the JSW Group wants to maximise its use of CBM. In line with our 2030 strategy, we plan a number of investment projects to harness CBM for commercial purposes, which will allow us to increase our electricity output from gas engines from the current 90,000 MWh to 490,000 MWh after 2022,” comments Daniel Ozon, President of the Management Board of JSW.
PGNiG, in partnership with the Polish Geological Institute – National Research Institute (PIG-PIB), has already commenced test CBM extraction in Gilowice, Katowice Province. Launched in February 2017, the test production has so far yielded close to 900,000 m³ of methane-rich natural gas. PIG-PIB has estimated producible CBM reserves in the Upper Silesian Coal Basin at approximately 170 billion m³.
Polskie Górnictwo Naftowe i Gazownictwo SA is the leader in the Polish natural gas market. It is a publicly traded company, listed in the WIG20 index of the Polish blue-chip stocks. The company’s business comprises exploration for and production of natural gas and crude oil, and − via its key subsidiaries − import, storage, sale and distribution of gas and liquid fuels, as well as heat and electricity generation. PGNiG SA holds equity interests in close to 30 subsidiaries, including providers of specialist geophysical, drilling and well services, highly valued on international markets. For more than 20 years, the company has been engaged in upstream operations in Pakistan. The PGNiG Group also includes PGNiG Upstream Norway AS, which has a decade-long track record of upstream projects on the Norwegian Continental Shelf and the Norwegian Sea. PGNiG Supply & Trading GmbH, a Munich-headquartered member of the Group with LNG trading offices in London, trades in natural gas on Western European markets.
TAURON Polska Energia SA is the parent of a group whose principal business is coal mining, as well as production, distribution and sale of electricity. The TAURON Group, one of Poland’s largest business conglomerates and leading electricity provider, operates over 18% of the country’s territory. Since 2010, TAURON Polska Energia SA has been listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange, including its WIG20 and WIG30 indices. The company is also included in the RESPECT Index of socially responsible businesses.
The JSW Group is the largest producer of high quality hard coking coal and one of EU’s leading coke producers in terms of production volumes. Its core business lies in production and sale of coking and thermal coal as well as coke and other coal derivatives. Coal produced by the JSW Group, primarily coking coal, is used across Central Europe by local steel mills controlled by international steel producers and by regional public utility providers. Its high quality coke output is also sold on the global market. The JSW Group’s key customers include companies from Poland, Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Italy and India.
Polska Grupa Górnicza is currently the largest hard coal producer in the European Union. Its strategy is focused on expansion aimed at ensuring Poland’s energy security and supplying top quality thermal coal to Polish businesses and households.