Coal is a valuable primary energy source that has excellent supply stability and economic efficiency. Japan has extremely low energy self-sufficiency and coal-fired thermal power is positioned as an important base load power supply. In the energy policy defined to produce the best mix of power sources for the country, coal-fired thermal power accounts for 26% of the total electricity generation (as of 2030). Furthermore, if we look around the world, coal is providing a driving force for economic development in the emerging nations and it is expected that coal-fired thermal power generation will continue to account for more than 30% of the electric power generated there. On the other hand, target figures for global temperature rises have been agreed at the 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 21) and the effectiveness of countermeasures to global warming is being questioned. One urgent issue we face is to find realistic countermeasures that greatly reduce the volume of CO2 emitted by coal-fired thermal power plants, which produce a large volume of CO2 emissions.
OSAKI CoolGen Corporation (OCG) was established with joint funding by The Chugoku Electric Power Co., Inc. and Electric Power Development Co., Ltd. (J-POWER), with the objective of realizing innovative low carbon coal-fired thermal power generation in accordance with the Clean Coal Policy of Japan. On consideration of the results of the joint research project we implemented from fiscal year 2010 onwards with the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), OCG has been designated as a project subsidized by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and has been implementing the “Integrated Coal Gasification Fuel Cell Combined Cycle (IGFC) Demonstration Project” from fiscal year 2012. This demonstration project has been divided into three steps. The first step is to scale up the gasification equipment that was demonstrated in pilot testing to perform large-scale equipment testing for the “oxygen-blown Integrated Coal Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC)” as the base technology for the IGFC. The second step will be IGCC demonstration with CO2 separation and capture. For the third step, we plan to demonstrate a system with fuel cells added.
Through the successful completion of this project, we believe that the “innovative low carbon technology” originating on this Osaki-kamijima Island will be applied to commercial facilities. We expect that this technology will be extended not only throughout Japan, but also to the rest of the world through infrastructure exports, so that it will be able to make a large contribution to the solution of environmental problems on a global scale.
We intend to put every effort into making this project a success, so I ask you for your continued guidance and encouragement.
Kenji Aiso, President and Representative Director