Debris to be used as fuel, Japan

Debris to be used as fuel, Japan
Published: 16 May 2011

Biomass-fueled power plants and cement companies are preparing to make use of the mountains of debris left by the March 11 disaster as fuel, helping to ease electricity shortages in eastern Japan.

Although clearing away the wreckage of houses destroyed by the tsunami requires the approval of the owners or local governments, some debris resulting from repairs is starting to be turned into wood chips that can be used as fuel.

The three leading cement makers will take in wreckage mainly through their factories near the disaster areas, providing indirect support for the reconstruction effort. They are expected to collect the equivalent of about 200,000-300,000tpa.

Taiheiyo Cement Corp plans to use a cement kiln at a plant in hard-hit Ofunato, Iwate Prefecture, to incinerate 10,000t to 20,000t of debris a month. Mitsubishi Materials Corp and Sumitomo Osaka Cement Co, meanwhile, will use debris as fuel, reports Nikkei.