The Project Coordinator: Strata Mechanics Research Institute, Polish Academy of Sciences (IMG PAN), (in Polish: Instytut Mechaniki Górotworu Polskiej Akademii Nauk, acronym: IMG PAN)
The Project Coordinator: Strata Mechanics Research Institute, Polish Academy of Sciences (IMG PAN), (in Polish: Instytut Mechaniki Górotworu Polskiej Akademii Nauk, acronym: IMG PAN), is a state scientific institution founded in 1954. It has become a major scientific advisory body through its scientific committees and research institutes. It successfully combines theory, modelling, laboratory and in situ experiments together with practical applications mainly in the fields of mining safety engineering and the impact of mining activity on the natural environment. The main researchers involved in the project are: Prof. Wacław Dziurzynski is the Director of the Institute, specialised in mine ventilation, computer methods for monitoring and simulation of flow in ventilation networks, including gas flow in goaf, in particular transients related to underground fires, ventilation survey and development of instruments, together with experimental research on development of underground fires. He is the main author of Ventgraph and co- author of other software for simulation and visualisation of air flow in mine ventilation networks. Prof. Jerzy Krawczyk is a researcher in the field of mine ventilation. He is specialised in combined analysis of CFD simulation with in situ and laboratory measurements of flow transients, both turbulent in underground galleries and in adjacent strata. Author and co-author of in-house simulation software. He is the Deputy Director of Scientific Affairs in the Institute.
The Central Mining Institute of Katowice (GIG), (in Polish: Główny Instytut Górnictwa)
The Central Mining Institute of Katowice (GIG), (in Polish: Główny Instytut Górnictwa) is a restructured scientific research and development organisation, subordinated to the Ministry of Economy, working not only for the benefit of the mining industry, but also for enterprises representing different branches – including small and medium enterprises, state and local administration institutions and offices, and foreign partners. Currently four basic areas of GIG’s activities cover: mining engineering, environmental engineering, problems relating to quality, education and training. The key personnel involved into the PICTO project represents Central Mining Institute’s Department of Gas Hazard Control, which conduct research and services to the operating and abandoned mines in the field of gas hazard analyses, methane hazard prediction, methane hazard prevention, methane explosion risk assessment, design of ventilation networks and rock-bursts prevention. Representatives of above department participate in the activities of Safety and Post-mining accidents’ Commissions constituted by the President of the State Mining Authority as well as International Conferences on Safety in Mines Research Institutes, scientific-technical conferences devoted to the mining problems, international coal mine methane related platforms like the GMI (Global Methane Initiative) and United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Ad-Hoc Group on Coal Mine Methane experts. Considering more than 90 years of experience in the above fields Central Mining Institute has extended knowledge of Upper Silesian Coal Basin and other foreign coal basins and is fully equipped to play an important role in the proposed project.
Imperial College of Science Technology and Medicine (IMPERIAL)
Imperial College of Science Technology and Medicine (IMPERIAL) is a technological university having a strong international reputation in teaching and research across the main areas of science and technology. The College has around 3,200 full-time academic and research members of staff. The Department of Earth Science and Engineering at Imperial College is a multidisciplinary department, integrating fundamental earth science research with related petroleum, environmental, mining and minerals engineering. In the 2014 Higher Education Funding Council Research Excellence Assessment (REF), covering all UK universities, Imperial has the highest proportion of research judged to have outstanding impact in terms of reach and significance of any major UK university. Furthermore, the department’s research was evaluated second out of major UK universities for 4* or “world-leading” research. Through its research into coal mine methane (CMM); abandoned mine methane recovery (AMM) and utilisation; coalbed methane (CBM) and enhanced coalbed methane (ECBM); reservoir flow and geomechanical characterisation and compositional simulator development; and CO2 storage since the late 80’s the Group at Imperial College is recognised as a multi-disciplinary research centre of excellence in these technologies. Research conducted over the years has been funded by the European Commission, industry (BP, BG, Texaco, Shell, Statoil, Scottish Power, Composite Energy and Vattenfall), the UK Research Councils (EPSRC, NERC) and the UK Government. IMPERIAL will contribute to the project with its petrophysics, coal characterisation and geomechanics laboratories and numerical software such as METSIM II, Petrel, Eclipse, Visage, FLAC3D™ etc.
The Eickhoff Group (EICKHOFF), Eickhoff Bergbautechnik GmbH
The Eickhoff Group (EICKHOFF), Eickhoff Bergbautechnik GmbH develops, constructs and supplies high-performance machinery to the underground mining industry. Their product line ranges from shearer loaders for longwall faces to continuous miners for heading and room-and-pillar mining through to roadheaders for mining and tunnelling. All of Eickhoff’s research and development activities on these machines are focused on achieving the optimum benefit for the industry. Maximum availability and reliability, ease of maintenance and long service life are distinctive features of Eickhoff’s products. Highest possible installed powers assure the industry high productivity at low machine-specific mining cost.
Premogovnik Velenje D.D. (CM-VELENJE)
Premogovnik Velenje D.D. (CM-VELENJE) is a lignite mine located near the town of Velenje in Slovenia. The company was established in 1875. Today, Premogovnik Velenje employs more than 2,300 qualified staff mining a very thick (up to 160 metres) lignite seam using state−of−the−art technology and equipment. Annual coal production depends on the needs of the Termoelektrarna Šoštanj, the neighbouring coal fired power station, however, on average it amounts to somewhere in the region of 4 million tonnes of lignite per annum, which is used by Šoštanj. CM-Velenje suffers from high levels of gas emission in its longwall top coal caving faces. Premogovnik Velenje is also a research organisation and is working very closely with various universities and research institutions. CM-Velenje has participated in a number of EU funded research projects such as VELGASPREVENT, CoGasOUT, LOWCARB, MapROC and GHG2E, which can certainly benefit PICTO.
Polska Grupa Górnicza (PGG)
Polska Grupa Górnicza (PGG) is a European leader in the area of coal mining. Centuries-old tradition is combined with an innovative approach to the production and management. The PGG mines are located in the Upper Silesian region, historically associated with coal mining. Annually, PGG produces 30 million tons of coal intended mainly for the energy sector and retail customers. In research projects, PGG draws from the experience of those with whom they work and build relationships based on professionalism and quality. PGG’s most valuable asset is the knowledge and experience of 32,000 people employed by the company. The board of PGG selected a group of their best ventilation specialists to cooperate with the PICTO consortium in order to meet all the tasks and challenges described in the project. Their commitment to the project can be best described by their financial and in-kind engagement. The budget requested from EC to enable realisation of proposed field tests and research reflects only small portion of real costs to be born, which cannot be justified by their routine economic activities.