Insights

Breaking New Ground at the Mikawa CO2 Capture Demonstration Facility

On December 15, over 80 guests gathered in beautiful winter sunshine in Fukuoka, the site of the future Mikawa CO2 Capture Demonstration Facility being constructed by the Japanese Ministry of the Environment (MOE).

Senior representatives from the MOE, Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corporation (the project lead, plant technology provider and operator), Chiyoda Corporation (engineering, procurement and construction subcontractor) and the International Advisory Board for the Project participated to a traditional Shinto Ceremony.  At the event, a Shinto priest performed the ceremonial blessing for a safe and successful construction project. 

Photo:  The International Advisory Board attendees visit Mikawa and existing pilot capture plant (Photo Courtesy of Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corporation)

Photo:  Looking onto the new ground cleared for the demonstration facility from the existing pilot capture plant (Photo Courtesy of Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corporation

The traditional ceremony marked the beginning of the construction of this cutting-edge CO2 capture plant. The Mikawa CO2 Capture facility will be fully integrated into the Mikawa Power Plant – a 50MW thermal plant with a newly upgraded circulating fluidized bed boiler that can burn 100% biomass as well as coal. Once operational in 2020, the plant will capture more than 50% of the CO2 emissions coming from the biomass boiler (over 500 tons of CO2 per day).  This will test the effectiveness of the CO2 capture system and the operational requirements of an integrated capture facility.

The work will build on learnings from a smaller CO2 capture pilot plant (10 tons of CO2 per day) operating on this site since 2009 as well as on the nearby carbon capture and utilisation facility – the Saga City Waste Incineration Plant. The latter captures 10 tons of CO2 per day from the flue gas of the Saga Waste Incineration plant to feed a nearby algae cultivation centre. The Saga Facility was also subsidized by the MOE with a capture facility provided by Toshiba to Saga City.

Japan's MOE is currently working with the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry to support efforts to evaluate and select CO2 transport solutions and potential offshore storage sites. This involves evaluation of a shuttle ship transportation option and from next year a survey and evaluation.

It does seem fitting, that this heavily industrialized area of Japan, recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution, could now be the catalyst for a new sustainable industrial revolution for the country.

We look forward to following the developments of the Mikawa CO2 Capture Facility and wish all the partners involved in the project a safe and speedy construction.

Photo: The most important representatives join the Shinto Master to break the ground by cutting grass on top of the mountain with a sickle, and piling of the mountain. (Photo Courtesy of Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corporation.)

 

Photo Courtesy of The Ariake Shimpo (Newspaper)