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Steady Expansion of Co-firing Power Generation by Woody Biomass with Coal

Steady Expansion of Co-firing Power Generation by Woody Biomass with Coal

CO2 Emission by electric power industry has a big share, amounting to 25 %, in the total domestic CO2 emission of Japan. Therefore a drastic reduction of CO2 emission is a suspending issue for the industry. In this regard, the association of Japanese electric power industry including Tokyo Electric Power Co.,Inc (TEPCO), Kansai Electric Power Co.,Inc and so on has established a goal in which they will increase the share of nuclear, hydroelectric and so-called new energy up to 50% by 2020. Among the new energy, expansion of power generation by co-firing of coal and woody biomass is notable.

Recently, TEPCO and Soma Kyodo Power Co.,Ltd respectively announced new plans for introducing co-firing system. Reportedly, the No.1 Plant of the Hitachi-Naka Power station of TEPCO, as well as the No.1 and 2 plants of Shinchi Power Station of Soma Kyodo Power Co.,Ltd, respectively, would start co-firing power generation in 2012.

Other electric companies also began introduction of co-firing as well as new expansion of this system. The Hokuriku Electric Power Co. has already implemented co-firing at Tsuruga Power Station since June 2007. The company newly started co-firing at Nanao-Ohta Power Station from September 2010. The Chubu Electric Power Co.,Inc started trial operation of co-firing at Hekinan Power Station since May 2009, and subsequently, the company put it into full commercial operation in September 2010.

The amount of woody biomass consumed at a conventional coal power station is enormous, ranging from 20,000 to 300,000 ton annually. Therefore co-firing is expected to reduce CO2 emission drastically. In this context, some Japanese firms are considering of importing woody biomass from southeastern Asia where neglected/unused biomass exists abundantly. In southeastern Asia, large quantities of palm oil residue are incinerated, and not reused. By exporting woody biomass produced from palm oil residue, new employment for woody biomass production would be created in southeastern Asia. Furthermore, there is the merit that Japan can resource woody biomass stable in the long term. In this way, co-firing power generation in Japan would strengthen collaboration between Japan and southeastern Asian countries.

 

Table  Projects of Woody Biomass Co-firing Power Generation

Operators Summary of Woody Biomass Co-firing Project
Tokyo Electric Power Co.,Inc
(TEPCO)
  • Pellets made by compressing woody waste to be burnt with coal at 3 % mixing ratio
  • The No. 1 power plant, with one million kW output capacity, of Hitachi-Naka Power Station consumes some 70,000 ton of woody pellets annually.
  • Reduction of CO2 emission amounts to 110,000 ton a year
  • Commercial operation to be started in 2012
Soma Kyodo  Power Co.Ltd
  • Forestry residue to be made into pellets. Co-fire the pellets with coal at 3 % mixing ratio at the No.1 and No. 2 power plants of Shinchi Power Station. (total power generation capacity = 2 million kW)
  • Consumption of woody pellets estimated to be 140,000 ton a year.
    Reduction of CO2 emission estimated to be 230,000 ton a year.
  • Commercial Operation to be started in October 2012.
Hokuriku Electric Power Co.
  • Waste woody biomass such as bark and scrappy wood generated at lumber mills to be used for co-firing at Nanao-Ohta Power Station (No.2 power plant with 700,000 kW capacity).
  • Consumption of waste woody biomass estimated to be 20,000 ton a year. Reduction of CO2 emission estimated to be 14,000 ton a year.
  • Commercial operation started on 1 September 2010.
Chubu Electric Power Co.,Inc
  • Co-firing power generation at No.1 ~ No.5 power plants of Hekinan Power Station. (total output capacity= 4.1 million kW)

  • At 3 % mixing ratio, woody biomass consumption amounts to 300,000 ton a year. Reduction of CO2 emission amounted to 200,000 ~ 300,000 ton a year.

  • Proof operation started since May 2009. Full commercial operation started in September 2010.

 

Fig.  Introduction and Expansion of Woody Biomass Co-firing Power Generation
Fig.  Introduction and Expansion of Woody Biomass Co-firing Power Generation

 

Fig.  Consumption of Woody Biomass by Co-firing Power Generation
Fig.  Consumption of Woody Biomass by Co-firing Power Generation

 

Source:
Websites of Tokyo Electric Power Co., Soma Kyodo Power Co., Hokuriku Electric Power Co., The Federation of Electric Companies of Japan, Kitanihon Shimbun, Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun, et al

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