Kuzbass region

Kuzbass region

The Kuzbass is in the Kemerovo Oblast (province) of western Siberia. Total population of the Kemerovo Oblast is more than 3 million, and major cities include Novokuznetsk (population 593,000) and Kemerovo (the administrative center, population 513,000). The Kuzbass is Russia’s leading coal producer, providing about 40% of the nation’s coal, and the coal industry dominates the region’s economy. Iron metallurgy, closely integrated with coal production, is also an important component of the region’s economy. The Kuzbass is also a center for electric power production, and coal is the primary fuel for power generation.

Kuzbass cities feature modern amenities. Airports in Kemerovo and Novokuznetsk serve international flights, and are readily accessible by rail and auto. Telephone and cell phone service is good, and several Internet service providers operate throughout the region.

The economy of the region is improving, and demand for quality mining and metallurgical equipment remains strong, supported in part by funding from donor agencies. The workforce tends to be well educated, and a high proportion possess post-graduate degrees.

The Kuzbass Coal Industry

Russia’s coal restructuring program, which began in the mid -1990’s, has been very successful. Impacts on the Kuzbass, Russia’s leading coal producer, have been positive. Approximately 15 unprofitable Kuzbass mines have been closed since 1996, and subsidies have been reduced. Coal production is again increasing after a decade of decline. The Kuzbass contains an estimated 57 billion tons of hard coal. More than 50 active underground coal mines produce nearly 44 million tonnes of coal annually.

Kuzbass underground coal mines are controlled by five joint stock companies (JSCs), each of which owns approximately 5 to 15 active mines: Kuzbassugol, Kiselevskugol, Prokopievskugol, Kuznetskugol, and Jusnya Kuzbass. One independent mine, Raspadskaya, also operates in the Kuzbass.

Overview of CMM in the Kuzbass

Explosions and fires due to hazardous concentrations of methane in Kuzbass mines have caused many fatalities throughout the history of mining in the Kuzbass. Because ventilation alone is not always sufficient to remove methane from gassy coal mines, more than half of active Kuzbass mines employ methane drainage systems in addition to ventilation. These mines drain more than 120 million cubic meters of methane annually that could potentially be used as fuel, but instead is emitted to the atmosphere. This methane is both a wasted energy source and a greenhouse gas.

Fifteen mines are responsible for more than 90% of the methane drained in the Kuzbass. These mines may represent the best targets for methane utilization projects, since they already have drainage systems in place. At most of these mines, significantly more methane could be drained with improvements in drainage technology and monitoring practices, as indicated by the large quantities of methane drained at each mine (see table below).

The Kuzbass also has many gassy mines that do not drain methane. If methane drainage systems were installed at those mines, significant amounts of methane could be recovered.

Top 15 Kuzbass Mines that Drain Methane (1998 data)

(Listed in order of volume of methane drained)

Mine Joint Stock Company Methane Drained (106  m3) Methane Emitted from Ventilation Shafts (106 m3) Total Methane Emitted to Atmosphere (106 m3)
Komsomolets Kuzbassugol 24.4 20.7 45.1
Oktyabrskaya Kuzbassugol 21.0 15.1 36.1
Jubilineynaya Kuznetskugol 10.4 22.1 32.5
Kirova Kuzbassugol 10.0 21.7 31.7
Polysaevskaya Kuzbassugol 10.0 15.5 25.5
Chertinskaya Kuzbassugol 9.3 7.6 16.9
Zyrianovskaya Kuznetskugol 8.7 17.2 25.9
Lenina Mezhdurechenskugol 7.9 21.6 29.5
Krasnogorskaya Prokopievskugol 2.7 13.4 16.1
Novaya Kuzbassugol 2.5 9.1 11.6
Baidaevskaya Kuznetskugol 2.4 4.2 6.6
Kapital’naya Kuznetskugol 2.0 47.1 49.1
Jaroslavskogo Kuzbassugol 1.6 7.4 9.0
Zarechnaya Kuzbassugol 1.6 3.5 5.1
Kol’chuginskoe Kuzbassugol 1.6 1.8 3.4
Total for Above Mines   116.4 227.7 344.1

Annual Consumption of Coal, Gas, and Power by Consumer in the Kemerovo Oblast

Consumer Coal 103 tonnes Natural Gas 106 m3 Electricity 106 kWh Thermal Energy 103 Gigacal
Power Industry 14 730 108 305 168
Fuel Industry 1 150 0 4 440 5 963
Ferrous Metallurgy 7 234 1 565 6 335 8 149
Petrochemical Industry 37 1 078 1 307 5 009
Other Industry, plus
Commercial and Residential
3 796 259 9 639 15 497
TOTAL 26 947 3 010 22 026 34 786