Wyoming Welcomes Coal Stakeholders from Japan
JCOAL Representatives Visit Wyoming ITC as Part of Ongoing Collaboration to Advance Coal Exports & Technology
Gillette, Wyoming – With the aim of fostering partnerships with strategic energy allies and potential export markets, Governor Matt Mead and representatives of the Wyoming Infrastructure Authority, Basin Electric Power Cooperative and the University of Wyoming School of Energy Resources (SER) welcomed a delegation from the Japan Coal Energy Center (JCOAL) to Wyoming last week.
“Strategic partnerships with global allies committed to advancing clean coal technologies are critical to the future of Wyoming coal,” said Jason Begger, Executive Director of the Wyoming Infrastructure Authority. “We are honored to have representatives from JCOAL here in our state and look forward to working together to not only expand export opportunities, but to see the impact technologies developed and deployed right here in Wyoming can have around the world.”
The visit from JCOAL representatives followed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between Governor Mead and Osamu Tsukamoto, President of JCOAL, in July of 2016, committing to cooperation in coal research and development of technologies and coal trade.
During last week’s visit, JCOAL representatives toured the construction site of the future Wyoming ITC as well as Basin Electric Power Cooperative’s Dry Fork Station. The JCOAL delegation also met with officials from the University of Wyoming as well as economic development leaders in Campbell County to learn about their efforts to promote new business development in the area. JCOAL representatives also toured the Cordero Rojo Mine and the University of Wyoming’s SER research facilities.
JCOAL operates under the supervision of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan and is supported by more than 120 member coal-related businesses, including Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd., Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems, Nippon Steel and Toshiba. The organization works to promote overall coal activities, from coal mining to the field of coal utilization, toward a stable energy supply, sustainable economic growth and the reduction of the global environment emissions.
The MOU between Wyoming and JCOAL covers technical cooperation, research and development, communication and information exchange and facilitating coal exports and sales. The University of Wyoming, the Wyoming Infrastructure Authority and the Wyoming Business Council are the primary agencies that will be working with JCOAL.
Photos from JCOAL’s tour of the Wyoming ITC and Dry Fork Station can be accessed here and are available for media use. The photos show representative of JCOAL viewing the isolation damper and the site of the ITC’s largest test bay, where construction is currently ongoing.
About the ITC
The ITC is a public-private partnership designed to foster the next generation of energy technology. The ITC will provide space for researchers to test Carbon Capture, Utilization and Sequestration (CCUS) technologies using actual coal based flue gas from the Dry Fork Station near Gillette.
In 2014, with the support and encouragement of Governor Matt Mead, the Wyoming State Legislature allocated $15 million in funding for the design, construction and operation of an integrated test center to study the capture, sequestration and management of carbon emissions from a Wyoming coal-based power plant. An additional $5 million commitment from private industry was required under the appropriation, which has since been secured from the Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association in addition to $1 million pledged from the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. Basin Electric Power Cooperative is providing additional in-kind contributions including engineering and construction management services at the Dry Fork Station host site, which is jointly owned by Basin Electric and the Wyoming Municipal Power Agency.
The ITC is slated to be one of a handful of such facilities around the world and only the second one in the United States. While many carbon capture technologies are being developed and studied in laboratory settings, the ITC will be one of the few research and testing facilities at an operating coal-fired powered plant. The ITC will allow for real world testing at an active power plant and alleviates typical concerns over being able to transfer technology from a lab to a plant.