Tokyo, June 22, 2009 – Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) and Mitsubishi Corporation (MC) have agreed with ZeroGen Pty. Ltd. of Australia to participate in the project to build a low-emission integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) power generation plant integrated with a carbon capture and storage (CCS) facility, and jointly received an order to implement a feasibility study (F/S) on the project. This will be the world's first commercial-scale IGCC power plant with CCS capability, producing 530 megawatts (MW) of electricity and capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The plant is slated to go on-stream in 2015.
The ZeroGen project combines a high-efficiency IGCC plant that will generate power using fuel produced through gasification of coal, which is abundant in Australia, and CCS technology, which captures and sequesters CO2 in deep subsurface brine aquifers. The power plant will be built in Queensland, with MHI serving as the exclusive manufacturer, supplier and builder of the IGCC facility, including CO2 recovery and storage systems. MC will coordinate the overall project. ZeroGen, which is wholly owned by the Queensland State Government, will be the project implementation body. In that capacity it will be responsible for the selection of potential sites in Queensland both for the IGCC plant and for a carbon transport and storage area, and will also handle other crucial areas such as infrastructure, coal supply, stakeholder engagement and environmental studies.
Japan, including MHI, has been seeking to introduce IGCC and CCS technologies to the global market while Australia, including ZeroGen, has been looking to make effective use of coal, the country's largest export commodity, and to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The two sides’ intentions thus meshed favorably, resulting in the F/S order.
During the course of the discussions that led to the agreement and order, MHI's Sustainable Energy & Environment Strategic Planning Department acted in a liaison role, closely working with the company's Power Systems Headquarters and the Machinery and Steel Structures Headquarters. This department was established in April 2008 to strategically coordinate the company's products, technologies and business operations spanning across MHI’s various operational headquarters, in a quest to effectively and integrally approach potential customers for energy and environmental projects utilizing the company's full complement of technological expertise. The Power Systems Headquarters and the Machinery and Steel Structures Headquarters will be responsible for the IGCC plant and CCS facility, respectively.
MC, which possesses considerable coal interests in Australia, has been working to realize continuous utilization of coal resources with reduced environmental burdens as a founding member of the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute (GCCSI). GCCSI is an organization established by the Australian Federal Government to support commercialization of CCS. MC proposed that the ZeroGen project be promoted with support from the Government as a project falling under the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Initiative. In addition to supplying the plant together with MHI, MC aims to contribute to the project in many areas, including coal and pipeline supply and emissions trading in the future.
For its fuel, the IGCC power generation system uses gas produced by gasification of fine milled coal in a gasification furnace. Electricity is generated by gas-turbine and steam-turbine combined cycle. IGCC delivers higher power generation efficiency than conventional coal-fired power plants and lower emissions of not only CO2 but also SOx, NOx and soot.
MHI's IGCC system is based on air-blown gasification technology, which the company has further refined to achieve the world's highest transmission end power generation efficiency. MHI has already delivered a 250 MW IGCC demonstration plant to Clean Coal Power R&D Co., Ltd., located in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, a company jointly established by 10 domestic electricity providers. The demonstration plant has already completed more than 2,000 hours of continuous operation and has proved its high reliability and operational availability.
In the ZeroGen project, CO2 will be recovered from gas before combustion by gas turbine. In the coal-gasification process, carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrogen gases are produced through oxygen reaction of coal, then CO2 is separated and recovered through the shift reaction of CO and steam.
MHI's participation in the ZeroGen project demonstrates that the company’s superior technology and abundant experience have been highly evaluated. ZeroGen’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Tony Tarr, said, "ZeroGen's development of a first-of-a-kind commercial-scale power plant that combines IGCC and CCS will represent a critical milestone in deploying low-emission coal technology in Australia and around the world, addressing global environment issues."
Going forward MHI and MC will engage in the ZeroGen project energetically to ensure the successful deployment of the IGCC-CSS system, working closely with ZeroGen and also with the Queensland Government, the Australian Coal Association and the Federal Government.