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Asian Petroleum Review : Jan-March 2011
11 "It will never be commercial in the sense that it doesn't require preferential policies. If the gov- ernment wants to give support to clean coal then it becomes an option and the economics start to work," he told Reuters. COALBED METHANE (CBM) Harvesting the methane that builds up in China's notoriously gas-heavy coal mines has also become a key industry strategy. Collecting and using CBM would reduce the risk of mine explosions, create a new and cleaner energy source and prevent a greenhouse gas from en- tering the atmosphere. China has more than 200 billion cubic metres of CBM reserves and expects to produce 2 bcm this year. Volumes are likely to rise steadily in the next decade. But the process is complex and production costs high. UNDERGROUND COAL GASIFICATION (UCG) Technologies aimed at gasifying coal before it is mined have been in development for half a century. China has launched 16 demonstration projects, in- cluding one in collaboration with U.S. utility Duke Energy. By eliminating the need to bring coal to the surface, UCG could improve safety and help boost China's coal recovery rates, experts say. But developers find it difficult to commercialise. (Reporting by David Stanway) (Editing by Bill Tarrant) Thomson Reuters Asia Petroleum Review Miners prepare coal for transport at a coal mine site in Changzhi. REUTERS