Toshiba has started commercial operation of its first ever biomass power plant, a 50 MW facility in Fukuoka prefecture, Japan.

The newly-retrofitted Mikawa power plant will be operated by Toshiba subsidiary Sigma Power Ariake Corporation, burning biomass in a circulating fluidized bed (CFB) boiler.

“We are pleased to commission our very first eco-friendly biomass power plant,” said Takao Konishi, Vice President of Toshiba’s Thermal & Hydro Power Systems & Services Division. “We are building a broad portfolio of environmentally friendly power technologies, from renewables through to carbon capture, and we also continue to test and develop leading-edge steam turbines and generators that offer higher efficiency and improved performance.”

The plant will be fuelled with palm kernel shells (PKS), the highly fibrous shell fractions left after extracting oil in palm oil mills, imported mainly from Indonesia.

Mikawa is one of Toshiba’s research and development facilities. The Japanese firm says it is currently undertaking the construction of a large-scale carbon capture facility at the plant.