Ube Industries,Ltd. (President: Kazumasa Tsunemi) recently began full operation of a facility for burning waste wood chips (wood biomass) for electric power generation. Construction of the facility was completed in March 2004.
This facility was built to combine the purposes of a waste wood scrapping facility set up on the premises of our cement plant in Ube, and another facility at the Isa cement plant designed to supply materials for use in electric-power generation boilers. The facility uses scrap lumber from construction as well as wood culled from forests, converting it to chips at the scrapping facility and then transporting it via a private road to the Isa cement plant, where it is used to fuel circulating fluidized bed combustion boilers for electric power generation.
The processing capacity of the new plant is about 45,000 tons a year, constituting 20-25% of the fuel needed to run the electric power plant.
This plan was realized as part of an effort supported by the Forestry Agency to promote facilities that utilize wood biomass, one aim of which is to make good use of wood that can be thinned from forests.
The reform of the Construction Recycling Law in 2002 stiffened company's obligations to make use of wood waste from construction, and to find suitable uses for scrap wood.
Ube Industries,Ltd.'s three cement plants in Ube, Isa and Kanda currently use over 3 million tons of waste materials annually. Some materials used as raw materials for cement include carbon ash from thermoelectric power plants across the country, slag from steel plants, sludge from local government agencies in western Japan, and detoxified urban waste ash from Yamaguchi Ecotech Co., a joint venture of Ube and Tokuyama Corp.
At the same time, we have also been actively promoting the use of scrap plastic, used tires and old tatami mats as fuel substitutes for coal at our cement plants. Our new wood-chip fuel plant is an integral part of this effort.
Through this new plant, Ube aims to lower the cost of generating electric power at the cement plant, but also to make more efficient use of natural resources, and reduce carbon-dioxide emissions as a way of contributing to environmental protection efforts.