New orders for Japanese biomass furnace

23 June 2003 – Orders for biomass-fuelled furnaces used in power plants are on the increase for industrial machinery manufacturers such as Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. and Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd.

Competition for orders has been intensifying as biomass gains attention as a new energy source.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has received an order worth several billion yen for a gasification furnace, from industrial waste processor Mie-Chuo Kaihatsu Co. Construction will begin within the year and is scheduled to be completed by September 2004.

Wood material is placed in the furnace and heated to about 500 C in a low-oxygen environment. The heating process extracts the combustible gas, which can then be used to fuel boilers that generate power. Mie-Chuo Kaihatsu plans to use the
generated electricity to mainly power its own facilities.

Meanwhile Kawasaki Heavy Industries received an order from a Distribution-related co-operative association based in Gifu Prefecture for a power plant fuelled by logging by-products. The order is reportedly valued at about 500m yen ($4.22m), and construction is slated to be completed by August.

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