8 Jun 2022 14:50

Evraz seeking domestic producers of coalmine methane disposal units to replace German ones

NOVOKUZNETSK. June 8 (Interfax) - Evraz is looking for domestic producers of units for disposal of mine methane extracted during degassing, Maxim Epifantsev, director of EvrazHolding LLC's environmental coordination directorate, said during the "Coal and Mining" international exhibition in Novokuznetsk on Wednesday.

"[Previously] four units were made [launched at Raspadskaya Coal Company LLC, which manages Evraz's coal assets], they are German, this year we are looking for Russian ones. This year we won't launch anything, unfortunately," Epifantsev said.

By 2030, Raspadskaya expects to utilize 75% of the methane extracted during degassing of the company's coal mines, he said. In order to do this, Raspadskaya is planning to equip its enterprises with methane disposal units from 2020 to 2026. The capex for this program is estimated at 1 billion rubles; the company has already spent 160 million rubles on four units.

Four mines are included in the program of methane disposal during degassing: "Uskovskaya, Yerunakovskaya-8, Allardinskaya and Raspadskaya . To date, two flare units each have been launched at Yerunakovskaya-8 and Allardinskaya. According to the demonstrated presentation, the design capacity of one unit is 45,000 cubic meters per day.

"By the end [of the current] year we will dispose of 4.3% [of the recoverable methane], and the goal [of the program] is 75%. The year 2022 will be spent searching for new technology, we expect an additional effect from 2023, we will bring the figure] up to 7-8%," Epifantsev said.

The company is also working on alternative technologies for generating heat and electricity using methane extracted during degassing, but "to do anything with this methane, its concentration must be at least 25%. "Any lower [concentration] won't even catch fire. So far we use this technology [of methane combustion in flares], but for the future we understand that where there is a possibility to connect power lines, where there are logistics, close settlements or administrative buildings, to try to use this methane for heat or electricity. To make the most of it. The problem is remoteness. It is clear that putting a transmission line or a gas pipeline in an open field in the mountains, where the nearest settlement is 200 km away, this is a very serious cost," Epifantsev said.