The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is to help China develop a roadmap for the demonstration and use of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology with a $1.25 million technical assistance facility.

The funds will finance the bulk of a $1.55 million project that is aimed at helping China to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2). The bank is also considering a plan to assist China with the development of its first integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) demonstration power plant.

The technical assistance facility will help China to produce a comprehensive road map for CCS demonstration projects, as well as policies and legal and regulatory frameworks to promote CCS use. It will also identify priority demonstration projects and their financing needs, as well as undertake capacity assessment and comprehensive capacity development in critical areas of CCS demonstration.

“CCS is in its early stage of development globally, and demonstration projects need to be undertaken,” said Ashok Bhargava, senior energy specialist at ADB’s East Asia Department. “The full benefit of such a technology cannot be achieved unless it is used in major coal-based developing economies such as India and PRC.”

China is the world’s second-largest energy consumer after the United States and has the fastest growing energy sector globally in terms of consumption and generation. As of 2007, nearly 83 per cent of the country’s total generation came from burning coal.

The Chinese government has established policies to diversify the country’s energy mix to include more renewable and nuclear energy, but coal will remain the dominant source of electricity production until at least 2030, says the ADB.

China’s first IGCC demonstration project is to be built near Tianjin City and is lined up for possible ADB financing under the Country Programming Mission.

Globally, electricity generation accounts for nearly 30 per cent of CO2 emissions.