The group, accompanied by Sens. Michael Von Flatern and Jeff Wasserburger of Campbell County, Wyoming, attended meetings and held discussions with their Chinese counterparts and industry officials during the fifth China International Energy Industry Expo and Low Carbon Development Summit Forum in Taiyuan in the Shanxi Province.

UW officials said the Chinese delegation is interested in the school’s carbon engineering program and have invited its researchers to apply for funding under Shanxi’s domestic and international programs — with Wyoming being the first to receive an invitation for domestic funding.

The gathering also identified opportunities for foreign investments for research based at UW as well as ways to collaborate on carbon engineering technological approaches, findings from the UW Rock Springs Uplift carbon dioxide sequestration site, challenges of new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations, the importance of Powder River Basin (PRB) coal mining and Wyoming’s resource and educational reach globally.

The vision and opportunities for UW’s Tier-1 Engineering Initiative was also a topic of discussion, as was the school’s advanced coal conversion research program.

Mark Northam, director of University of Wyoming School of Energy Resources, delivered a keynote address to 800 at the global forum at the invitation of the Shanxi Provincial Science and Technology Institute.

Demand for coal in China, as in Wyoming, is in decline as utilities are seeking reductions in carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants in response to government regulation and market changes [and] like Wyoming, Shanxi Province is concerned about revenue losses related to the coal industry’s downturn,” UW officials said. “Although their populations differ significantly in size, Shanxi Province and Wyoming both depend largely on coal and other mineral production to drive their economies.