of the International Centre of Excellence
on Coal Mine Methane (ICE-CMM)
The grand opening of the International Centre of Excellence on Coal Mine Methane (ICE-CMM) at the Chamber of the Natural Gas Industry (Izba Gospodarcza Gazownictwa, IGG) was held in Katowice on June 7th–9th 2017.
The Centre was established and operates under the auspices of and in close partnership with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the UNECE Group of Experts on Coal Mine Methane.
The Polish founders of the ICE-CMM are Polskie Górnictwo Naftowe i Gazownictwo (PGNiG), Państwowy Instytut Geologiczny-Państwowy Instytut Badawczy (the Polish Geological Institute − National Research Institute, PIG-PIB), Instytut Nafty i Gazu – Państwowy Instytut Badawczy (the Oil and Gas Institute – National Research Institute, INiG – PIB), and Główny Instytut Górnictwa (the Central Mining Institute, GIG).
The International Centre of Excellence on Coal Mine Methane (ICE-CMM) brings together experts working on new methods for coal mine methane recovery and utilisation, which are to improve worker safety, environmental performance and the efficiency of mining operations as well as to accelerate the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The Centre gathers information on methane management from all around the world and serves as a knowledge sharing platform for the coal industry. It operates as a non-profit organisation established in a UN Member State and governed by national law, which means its employees are not UN personnel.
Financing of the ICE-CMM operations is considered as an in-kind contribution by the United Nations member state that expressed the interest to host the ICE-CMM. The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) will solicit possible voluntary contributions from other UN member states or organisations to assist the functioning of the ICE-CMM. The ICE-CMM, under the auspices of and in close collaboration with the UNECE Group of Experts on CMM will support capacity-building activities in United Nations member states through dissemination of best practices in economically viable methane abatement and utilisation, socially acceptable underground coal mine practices, and environmentally responsible methane management. To that end, the ICE-CMM will carry out specific projects and activities as described below. The Centre will solicit and collect relevant case studies and lessons learnt in sustainable CMM management, provide as needed technical guidance for their development, and serve as a repository of such case studies and practices. The ICE-CMM will also organise on-site training and visits (on a non-profit basis, using as needed cost-sharing mechanisms) by CMM practitioners from interested UN member states. Such training would help disseminate best practices through experts with experience in the field. In collaboration with the UNECE secretariat and members of the Group of Experts on CMM, the Centre will also organise off-site training activities on the application of best practices in various coal mining regions. It will conduct research in coal mine methane, as needed by UNECE member states, under auspices of the Group of Experts on CMM, and in collaboration with relevant intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations, industry and other stakeholders. Furthermore, the Centre will engage with a wider coal mining community, including the civil society, mining associations and decision-makers through the use of electronic and social media in order to raise awareness of the challenges and opportunities in the CMM sector.