Sustainable Business

JBIC to support exports of coal power plants with CCS or ammonia co-firing

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A man walks past a sign of Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) at it's headquarters in Tokyo, Japan June 6, 2016. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

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TOKYO, June 29 (Reuters) - The Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) will provide support for exports from coal power plants if they come with emissions-cutting steps such as carbon capture and storage (CCS) and co-firing ammonia, JBIC Governor Tadashi Maeda said on Tuesday.

The Group of Seven nations pledged earlier this month to rapidly scale up technologies and policies that accelerate the transition away from unabated coal capacity, including ending new government support for coal power by the end of this year. read more

Unabated coal power means lacking measures to cut emissions.

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"In my opinion, coal power plants with CCS or carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS) and co-firing ammonia would be exceptions," Maeda told a news conference.

The bank plans to support the use of ammonia or hydrogen as a co-firing fuel in thermal power generation, with the understanding that they are needed to slash carbon dioxide emissions in a transition period, he said.

Ammonia is used for fertiliser and industrial materials, but is also seen as a potential effective future energy source, along with hydrogen. It does not emit carbon dioxide when burned.

The state-owned bank announced a new three-year business plan through March 2024, under which it will provide finance to help expand renewable energy and create a hydrogen supply chain as well as transition finance to support CCUS, ammonia co-firing projects among others.

JBIC will continue financing upstream development of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and gas-fired power generation projects as part of transition finance, Maeda said.

"As for gas, we have to take into account various derivative elements such as energy security and trade balance issues," he said, adding it was not realistic to suddenly rely solely on renewable energy.

Japanese government is looking to tighten its rules on support for exports of new coal power plants, in line with the G7 pact. read more

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Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; editing by David Evans

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