One Komatsu plant acts, toward carbon neutrality by 2050
Ibaraki Plant opened in 2007, as a production base for mining equipment. It is one of Komatsu’s most environmentally sustainable plants: decarbonizing building design, solar panel installation, small-wind turbines, to name but a few. And in February 2022, a brand-new biomass gas power generator went into operation.
Biomass is a renewable organic energy source, and Ibaraki Plant uses wood chips made from thinned wood from the nearby forests as fuel. The gas produced by heating the wood chips powers the engine to generate electricity, and the exhaust heat can be reused in hot water supply systems and other equipment. The goal is to reduce CO2 emissions by 141 tons per year through the biomass gas power generation.
Koizumi says, “The biomass gas power generation project could not have been successful without the help of the forestry industry in Ibaraki Prefecture.” One of the challenges they faced is that the wood chips used in the existing biomass boiler turned out to be unsuitable for the new biomass gas power generator.
Ibaraki Plant is located by National Hitachi Seaside Park, a park famous for its beautiful blue flower carpet of nemophila and kochia plant. Every year, the park attracts more than one million tourists and takes their breath away.
Once a year, dedicated members of Ibaraki Plant volunteer to take part in activities to preserve the environment at the park. They plant and care for flowers and trees and maintain walking trails and vegetation. What motivates them (because it is hard work) is simple: the look on visitors’ faces, completely mesmerized by the stunning scenery.