New plant aims to improve coal

New plant aims to improve coal

A plant scheduled for construction in Indonesia is intended eventually to be able to turn low-grade coal into a higher grade version of the fossil fuel.

The factory — being developed by Kobe Steel Ltd. and Indonesia’s Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry — would be the first of its kind if it is able to improve upon its coal products, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported.

Plans call for the plant to use a process in which low-grade coal, such as brown coal, is covered with asphalt and fried in light oil. If it works, the method would allow the plant to transform the lesser coal into a type that has a high energy output, while remaining environmentally-friendly.

Each side of the project is set to contribute nearly $33 million toward construction, planned to begin in March. The facility is expected to open by spring 2008.

If all goes as planned the plant would begin selling the processed coal to Japan and its power plants around 2010, the newspaper said.


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