Japan’s Largest Composite-type Biomass Facilities Begin Operation

JFE Engineering Corp has completed “Toyohashi City Biomass Utilization Center” in Toyohashi City, Aichi Prefecture, Japan.

The company had a ceremony to celebrate the completion of the plant Oct 1, 2017, and Koichi Sahara, mayor of the city, etc participated in the ceremony.

The facilities of the center generate biogas through the methane fermentation of sewage sludge, septic tank sludge and kitchen garbage, which were formerly separately processed, and generate power by using the gas. JFE Engineering claims that the center is Japan’s largest-scale biogas power plant using such a combination of materials.

The plant was built on the premises of Nakajima Treatment Plant located in the service area of Toyohashi City Waterworks & Sewage Bureau. It was built for “Toyohashi City’s Project for Building/Operating Facilities Using Biomass Resources,” which the city entrusted to a private company.

The BTO (business transfer operate) method of PFI (private finance initiative) was employed for the project. The private company raises a construction fund. After the completion of the plant, its ownership is transferred to the city, and the plant is operated by the private company.

The operating body of the project is Toyohashi Bio Will KK, an SPC (special purpose company) financed by JFE Engineering Corp, Kajima Corp, Kajima Environment Engineering Corp and Otec. The SPC will be responsible for the maintenance and operation of the facilities for the next 20 years.

The project to build and operate the facilities consists of a (1) business of selling electricity generated by the biogas power plant, (2) business of selling fermented sludge to other companies as carbonized fuel and (3) mega (large-scale) solar power plant business using idled land (a subsidiary business). Electricity generated by the biogas and mega solar power plants is sold based on the feed-in tariff (FIT) scheme.

Two units of a 5,000m3 methane fermenter, a 2,000m3 gas holder and a 1MW gas engine generator were installed. Those facilities were designed and constructed by JFE Engineering. The output of the mega solar plant is 1.995MW. The solar panel and PV inverter employed for the plant are products of Hanwha Q Cells Co Ltd and Toshiba Mitsubishi-Electric Industrial Systems Corp (TMEIC), respectively

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