Biothermica Blue Creek Inc., the American subsidiary of Montreal-based Biothermica Technologies Inc., has signed an agreement with one of the largest metallurgical underground coal mines in the U.S. for the construction of a plant which will destroy the ventilation air methane (VAM).
This $15 million project will be the most important of this kind to be built in North America and will lead to the reduction of 530 000 tons of equivalent CO2 (tCO2e) a year, that is the equivalent of the retirement of 130 000 vehicles from our roads.
The project, which will get underway in 2019, will be financed through the sale on the Quebec-California carbon market of the carbon credits with a market value of over $ 100 million over the project period from 2020 to 2030.
”We are proud of this project because it is a technological showcase for the worldwide export of Quebec expertise and Biothermica’s know-how,” said Dominique Kay, vice president, air and technologies division, Biothermica, in a company release. “The global potential of technology is immense, with coal mines emitting large amounts of methane into the atmosphere, which has a global warming potential 25 times more powerful than CO2. The carbon market is a lever for this type of innovation”
”Today more than ever, the fight against climate change can no longer be ignored and concrete solutions must be developed and put in place, because the survival of our planet is at stake,” added Guy Drouin, P.Eng., president/CEO of Biothermica. “The agreement we reached contributes directly to Quebec’s goal of reducing its GHG emissions by 37% by 2030 from 1990 levels, when it is estimated that to do so, about 10 million offsets per year will have to come from outside Quebec. Our project alone represents more than 5% of this total.
“In addition, the sale of carbon credits generates significant inflows of funds for our company and for Quebec and also represents a major sustainable environmental investment in the United States. This is proof that the carbon market is working, creating innovations and investments that create collective wealth and jobs that would otherwise not have been possible. It is also a good example of the many business opportunities that this market can represent for Québec companies in the clean technology sector.”
According to Biothermica, VAM emissions account for 65% of GHG emissions from underground coal mines. Each year, nearly 500 million tCO2e are emitted worldwide through their ventilation systems. With nearly 40 million tCO2e per year, the U.S. is second in terms of domestic VAM emissions, outstripped by China and followed by Ukraine, Russia, India and Australia. Overall, coal mines emit about 800 million tCO2e as methane compared to global emissions of 49 billion tons of CO2, which represents about 1.6% of total global carbon emissions.