The 13th Five Year Plan for Coalbed Methane: Building Two to Three Industrial Bases

The National Energy Administration released the 13th Five Year Plan for Coalbed Methane on its official website.

According to the Plan, during the "13th Five Year Plan" period, proven reserves of coalbed methane is expected to increase by 420 billion cubic meters with two to three coalbed methane industrial bases being established. By the year of 2020, 24 billion cubic meters of coalbed methane £¨coal mine gas£© will be developed, in which 10 billion cubic meters is ground coalbed methane, with a utilization rate of over 90%. Besides, 14 billion cubic meters of coal mine gas will be developed, with a utilization rate of over 50%. By then, installed capacity of coal mine gas generation will reach 2800MW, supplying electricity to 1.68 million households.

To achieve these goals, the Plan defined major tasks from exploration, exploitation, transmission and utilization and technological innovation. Specific measures include: promote the development of industrial bases, make breakthroughs in the exploration new reserves, increase the output of the two industrial bases, establish new industrial bases and exploration pilot zones, promote the exploration of ground coalbed methane, implement coal mine gas exploration demonstration projects, design coalbed methane pipelines in a coordinated and integrated manner, improve the efficiency resources utilization, build coal mine gas utilization demonstration projects and promote technological innovation.

The Plan proposed the establishment of coalbed methane industrial bases in Qinshui Basin and Ordos Basin in an effort to realize rapid expansion of productive capacity. By 2020, the coalbed methane output of the two industrial bases is expected to reach 8.3 billion cubic meters.

Two new coalbed methane industrial bases will also be built in Bishuixing, Guizhou Province and the southern part of Junggar Basin. New coalbed methane development pilot zones will be established in Inner Mongolia and Sichuan Province and a series of new demonstration projects will be implemented. 

Besides, the government also plans to build Shenmu - Anping coalbed methane transmission pipelines, encourage the development of pipelines linking coalbed gas fields with national gas transmission arteries such as Shaanxi-Beijing Pipeline, Yulin - Jinan Pipeline, West-East Gas Transmission pipelines and Ordos - Anping - Cangzhou Pipeline to form an interconnected energy transmission network that can ensure safe, steady and efficient power transmission. The Plan also encourages coalbed methane companies to cooperate with natural gas companies to develop pipelines to save transportation and construction cost.

To ensure the implementation of the Plan, a series of supportive measures are also launched. For example, the Plan, for the first time proposed a new model for the comprehensive exploration and utilization of multiple gases in coalbeds through the integration of exploration and exploitation in the development of coalbed methane, launched the decision of pushing forward with mining rights examination and approval reforms and a series of measures to address the root causes of existing problems. At the same time, the Plan also requires local governments to increase policy support, implement plans on pricing, financial subsidies, tax subsidies and feed-in tariff of gas power generation, establish special funds to improve the safety of mining, expand the financing channels and encourage the use of low-concentration gas and Ventilation Air Methane (VAM). At last, the Plan demands strengthened industrial guidance through the development of laws and regulations on the exploration and utilization of coalbed methane to promote the coordinated development of coalbed methane and coal.



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