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Japan’s Most Powerful Wood Gas-Fueled Plant, Powered by GE’s Jenbacher Gas Engines, Wins Asian Power Award


Plant Supports Japan’s Renewable Energy Goals, Serves as Regional Model

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - Japan’s most powerful wood gas-to-energy power plant, powered by two of GE Energy’s Jenbacher gas engines, has won the Gold Award for the Best Renewable Energy Power Plant of the Year, conferred by Asian Power magazine. The innovative project generates power from an abundant, renewable biomass resource that would otherwise be treated as rubbish, demonstrating opportunities for future waste-to-energy initiatives in Japan.

The annual Asian Power Awards, which highlight Asia’s top power plant projects, were announced during the Power-Gen Asia 2008 conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The wood gas plant in Yamagata Prefecture is owned and operated by Yamagata Green Power, an electricity distribution company and subsidiary of renewable energy development firm Japan Biomass Development Co., Ltd. The plant was installed by Kanagawa-based JFE Environmental Solutions Corp., the environmental solutions engineering arm of JFE Group.

The plant, fueled by gasified wood chips from a nearby forest, is capable of generating two MW of electricity. Most of the plant’s energy is sold to a power producer and supplier, with the rest being used to support plant operations.

“The Yamagata plant is an important specialty gas-to-energy technology reference model for the region. It is supporting the Japanese government’s initiatives to expand renewable energy production to help meet its emissions reduction goals under the Kyoto Protocol,” said Wataru (Bill) Horie, Country Executive of GE Energy in Japan.

By 2010, Japan is seeking to increase renewable energy production to three percent of the country’s overall energy supply. Additionally, as part of its renewable energy strategy, Japan is seeking to expand its use of biomass fuel up to 330 MW by 2010.

“The successful deployment of GE’s specialty gas engines exemplifies our ongoing commitment to provide technology solutions with both energy and industrial applications. Our Jenbacher gas engines with their fuel-flexibility continue to bring value to our customers with innovative applications around the world,” said Steve Bolze, President and CEO of GE Power and Water.

Located about 400 kilometers north of Tokyo on the island of Honshū, in Murayama-shi, Yamagata Prefecture is Japan’s largest cherry producing region. Unlike other gasified wood plants, Yamagata’s Murayama site runs completely on wood gas, without any backup fuel supply such as natural gas. Because the plant is located near a forest, the facility has access to a steady source of wood biomass for raw fuel while offering a new use of the forest’s trimmed branches, which previously had to be disposed.

The plant features two of GE’s most powerful Jenbacher “Type 6” engines: a JMS 616 GS-S.L unit and also a JMS 612 GS-S.L, capable of generating two MW of electricity. The GE engines have an electrical efficiency of up to 36 percent, which is higher than a conventional steam turbine power plant of the same scale.

Another key design feature is the plant’s wood gasification system. JFE licensed the updraft gasification boiler technology from Babcock & Wilcox Vølund A/S of Denmark.

Although GE has supplied its Jenbacher engines for other types of waste gasification projects in Japan, the Yamagata project represents GE Energy’s first large-scale wood gas engine project in Asia. GE also has installed its engines in other wood gas plants in Europe and North America.

This is the second consecutive year GE’s Jenbacher engines have received an Asian Power Award for renewable energy. In 2007, GE was also recognized for its cow manure-digester biogas project in Punjab, India.

The Yamagata and Punjab biogas projects illustrate how countries throughout Asia are relying on proven Jenbacher technology to develop their individual renewable energy strategies.
About GE Energy’s Jenbacher Gas Engines

GE Energy’s Jenbacher gas engine business, based in Jenbach, Austria, is a leading manufacturer of gas-fueled reciprocating engines, packaged generator sets and cogeneration systems for power generation.

Jenbacher engines cover an output range of 0.25 to four MW and operate on natural gas or a variety of specialty fuels, including flare gas and coal mine gas or alternative fuels like biogas, landfill gas, wood gas, sewage gas and industrial waste gas. Patented combustion systems
coupled with advanced engine and plant management systems enable customers to meet stringent international emission standards while offering high levels of efficiency, durability and reliability.
About GE Energy

GE Energy ( is one of the world’s leading suppliers of power generation and energy delivery technologies, with 2007 revenue of $22 billion. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, GE Energy works in all areas of the energy industry including coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear energy; renewable resources such as water, wind, solar and biogas; and other alternative fuels.

Numerous GE Energy products are certified under ecomagination, GE’s corporate-wide initiative to aggressively bring to market new technologies that will help customers meet pressing environmental challenges. In addition to various cogeneration applications, GE’s Jenbacher
biogas, landfill gas and coal mine methane engines previously received ecomagination certification, underscoring the environmental and economic benefits offered from the utilization of generating energy from high methane content waste streams.
About GE

GE (NYSE: GE) is a diversified global infrastructure, finance and media company that is built to meet essential world needs. From energy, water, transportation and health to access to money and information, GE serves customers in more than 100 countries and employs more than 300,000 people worldwide. GE is Imagination at Work. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at


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