Onsite recently attended the Hunter Business Mining & AGM to join in the discussions around – ‘Technology and the role of Australian coal in Japan’.
Japan is seen as a world leader in adopting new methods and adapting innovation when it comes to getting the most from coal fired power generation technology. Japan is also a large user of coal exported from the Hunter region. Scott Firkin, Account Manager and Mark Pearson, Business Development Manager – Mining attend on behalf of Onsite to take part in the presentation and expand our knowledge of emerging technologies and disruptors to the mining industry.
When asked about the role of Australian Coal in Japan, Mark Pearson commented ‘Japan is breaking the trend when it comes to addressing its energy requirements. Whilst other countries are moving away from coal, Japan has opened at least eight brand new coal-burning power plants in the last two years and has plans for at least 36 more in the next ten years.’
When pressed about the environmental implications, Mark said ‘Japan is leading the way by investing in new
innovative technologies and initiatives as the global energy space matures. Earlier this year Japan and the government of Wyoming announced that the Japan Coal Energy Centre and Kawasaki Heavy Industries intend to spend $9 million USD in grant funding for research of carbon capture near the U.S. city of Gillette.
In addition to this, Japan is looking for ways to greenify coal, including research into the fossil fuel as a possible source of energy for hydrogen-powered cars. In fact, Japanese engineering firm Kawasaki Heavy Industries has partnered with Australia to turn their cheap coal into hydrogen gas in a new Melbourne-based $390m pilot plant. At Onsite we are proud to work closely with Australia’s largest Mining Organisations, delivering specialist rental equipment. We work in partnership with our customers to actively reduce our environmental impact through asset utilisation and optimisation reporting through our CONNECT™ and ONTRAK™ Total Rental Management platforms.’
When asked why Japan has opted to revive their coal industry, Scott Firkin said ‘Unlike other nations that now depend heavily on cheap natural gas, for Japan the math works out to coal’s benefit. Since they must import natural gas in its relatively pricey liquid form, coal makes more fiscal sense. Given Japan’s proximity to Australia, it is no surprise that Japan was the largest importer of Australian thermal coal last year. Japan took about 82 million tonnes in 2017 and was the second-largest importer globally, taking about 144 million tonnes – great news for the Australian Coal Mining industry.’
This insightful presentation was led by Meryl Swanson MP, Federal Member for Paterson, who was joined by Prof Alan Broadfoot who leads the Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources (NIER).
To find out more about how Onsite delivers expert advice and rental equipment to Australia’s mining industry, please visit www.onsite.com.au or call 13 40 40 to speak to your local branch.