Report: APP CMHS Project 1




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3.7.3. Poland

Poland is considered one of the primary (hard) coal providers to Western Europe (aside from Russia and Ukraine, Figure 89) due to the predominant abandonment of the industry by the previous traditional coal mining nations of Germany, France and UK.

There are about 33 operating ‘hard’ coal mines; 29 gassy mines of which 20 use gas drainage and 14 utilise the methane captured. Total output is approximately 94 Mt/year (2006) and 870 Mm3/yr methane. Thirty percent of this methane is captured by gas drainage, the rest is ventilated out of the mine. Coal mine methane capture has occurred using surface gas wells provided by USA and UK petroleum producers. Gas drainage includes goaf drainage to the surface via vertical wells, in-seam drainage prior to mining, cross measure drainage that activates after the mining face has passed and long hole in-mine horizontal boreholes above the goafed panel, as shown in Figure 90.

Figure 89 Coal suppliers in Europe (Source European energy forum)

Figure 90 Gas drainage methods in Poland (Source Advanced Resources International Inc.)

The mines are typically deep (around 1,000 m) and prone to high stress and gas. Permeability at this depth is about 1 mD. At the Barbara Mine, permeability decreases rapidly with depth to the limiting permeability of about 3 mD at a depth of about 400 m. Gas drainage at this mine requires drainage holes to be drilled and maintained ahead of the longwall face so that when stress relieves and permeability increases, gas is captured rather than being released into the mine. This mine also utilises a ‘drainage gallery’ in overlying seams. Again relying on the principle of stress release, but this time it capture gas as it is released by surrounding seams to the one being mined.


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