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Toshiba ESS commission Japan's first large-scale BECCS plant

Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corporation (Toshiba ESS) has commenced operations of a large-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) facility at the 50 MWe Mikawa Power Plant operated by Toshiba ESS's subsidiary, SIGMA POWER Ariake Corporation (SPAC), in Omuta, Fukuoka Prefecture. Sponsored by Japan’s Ministry of the Environment (MOE), the plant uses palm kernel shells (PKS) as the primary fuel source making it the first bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) plant in Japan.

Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corporation (Toshiba ESS) has commenced operations of a large-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) facility at the 50 MW Mikawa Power Plant operated by Toshiba ESS’s subsidiary, SIGMA POWER Ariake Corporation (SPAC), in Omuta, Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan (photo courtesy Toshiba ESS).

In 2017, the 50 MWe Mikawa Power Plant was retrofitted to burn biomass in a circulating fluidized bed (CFB) boiler making it the first Toshiba EES plant to be converted from coal to biomass. In parallel, the plant was selected for a carbon capture demonstrator project sponsored by the Ministry of the Environment (MOE).

Toshiba ESS already operates a pilot carbon capture facility that can capture 10 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) a day from September 2009 at the same Mikawa Power Plant. This has been used to verify and demonstrate the practical operation of the system, including its performance, operability, and maintainability.

The new facility for this project – Demonstration of Sustainable CCS Technology Project – began its construction in February 2018 at the area neighboring the power plant. This large-scale facility will capture more than 500 tonnes of CO2 a day, over 50 percent of Mikawa’s daily emissions.

CCS is necessary

According to Toshiba ESS, it is also Japan’s first carbon capture unit to capture over 50 percent of total CO2 emission from a thermal power plant.

Furthermore, the company points out that although renewable energy sources are progressing, thermal power generation still remains a major part of the dependable electrical energy supply. Therefore, the realization of CCUS technology which can significantly reduce CO2 from these power plants is vital for the realization of a low-carbon society.

It is against this background that Toshiba ESS says that it has been promoting the introduction of CO2 capture technology in addition to providing highly-efficient and environmentally friendly generating equipment and services.

Toshiba ESS will use the facility to evaluate the CO2 capture technology’s performance, cost, environmental effects, and operational integration with the power plant.

As Mikawa Power Plant is a biomass-fired power plant, it is deemed carbon-neutral, and, by applying the CCS technology to the plant it becomes a “negative emission” Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) power plant.

We are honored to start the operation of this large-scale carbon capture facility. Through this project, we will further contribute to the global promotion of cleaner energy production through the development and deployment of CO2 capture technology, including its application to biomass power plants, said Takao Konishi, Director and SVP of Power Systems Division at Toshiba ESS.

The Mikawa BECCS facility uses unique flue gas desulfurization technology (CT-121) developed by Chiyoda Corporation as a pretreatment device for the separation and recovery of carbon dioxide (graphic courtesy Toshiba ESS).

The partners for the Demonstration of Sustainable CCS Technology Project include Toshiba Corporation, Mizuho Information & Research Institute, Inc., Chiyoda Corporation, JGC Japan Corporation, Mitsubishi Materials Corporation, TAISEI Corporation, DIA Consultants Co., Ltd., QJ Science Ltd., Japan Nus Co., Ltd., National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry (CRIEPI), The University of Tokyo, Kyushu University, Uyeno Transtech Ltd., Mitsubishi Corporation Exploration Co., Ltd., INPEX Corporation (INPEX), Japan Coal Energy Center (JCOAL), and Taiheiyo Cement Corporation.

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