Toshiba unveils biomass power plant in Japan

Toshiba Corp. has started commercial operation of its first ever biomass power plant, a 50MW facility that will supply enough electricity for 80,000 households and reduce CO2 emissions to about 300,000 tonnes a year.

The newly retrofitted Mikawa Power Plant, operated by Toshiba subsidiary SIGMA POWER Ariake Corporation (SPAC) in Omuta, Fukuoka prefecture, has been equipped to burn biomass in a circulating fluidized bed boiler, and can handle a variety of fuels.

“We are pleased to commission our very first eco-friendly biomass power plant,” said Takao Konishi, vice president of the Thermal & Hydro Power Systems & Services Div. in Toshiba’s Energy Systems & Solutions Co.

He added: “We are building a broad portfolio of environmentally friendly power technologies, from renewables through to carbon capture, and we also continue to test and develop leading-edge steam turbines and generators that offer higher efficiency and improved performance.”

The plant will be fuelled with palm kernel shells (PKS), the highly fibrous shell fractions left after extracting oil in palm oil mills. SPAC will import 0.2 million tonnes of PKS, mainly from Indonesia via Miike port in Omuta. It will be stored in a newly-built roofed yard with the area of about three soccer fields and a storage capacity of 30,000 tons.

According to Toshiba, Mikawa Power Plant is an important facility for research and deployment for new technologies, where Toshiba’s forward-looking projects currently include a demonstration of its carbon capture technology.

The company is currently undertaking construction of a large-scale carbon capture facility on the Plant, as a part of the five year “Demonstration of Sustainable CCS Technology Project” sponsored by Japan’s Ministry of the Environment. Together with deployment of biomass power plant technology, Toshiba will continue to develop power plant system solutions that realise energy generation with fewer environmental impacts.

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