China will develop an annual production capacity of 500 million
cubic meters of coalbed methane by the end of this year, Sun
Maoyuan, general manager with the China United Coalbed Methane
Corp., Ltd., said Friday.
The country's leading coalbed methane producer, China United,
was confident of attracting more foreign investment, as it has
already owned abundant coalbed methane resources and had experience
in exploration, said Sun.
In September, the government discontinued the company's monopoly
on cooperation with foreign investors for coalbed methane
production, but the company believed the move would not hinder its
In the first half, China United clinched 28 coalbed methane
production contracts, involving 18 foreign partners and with
foreign capital of US$290 million in place.
The company plans to increase its annual production to 1.9
billion cubic meters of coalbed methane by 2010, when China's total
output reaches 10 billion cubic meters.
Coalbed methane is a byproduct of coal, and a major danger in
coal mines. If it is explored, coal mines will have methane content
slashed by 70 percent to 85 percent and become much safer.
As a clean energy source close to natural gas, coalbed methane
can be used as industrial chemical, a domestic fuel and for
(Xinhua News Agency November 10, 2007)