Using the Earth’s limited resources wisely is an issue common to all of humankind. Mitsubishi Materials has adopted this mission throughout all its businesses, and each day we undertake a host of activities to this end. One facet of this mission is our Environment & Energy business. This business focuses on fields that involve the entire Group in all its operations, including the energy and environmental and recycling businesses, among others.
In the energy business, we are active across a range of future-oriented operations in the areas of renewable energy such as geothermal, solar and hydraulic power generation. In the nuclear power sector, we are involved in the processing, disposal and safety evaluation of radioactive waste. Our activities in the coal sector include, among others, the selling of coal mined in countries such as Australia and Indonesia.
In the environmental and recycling businesses, we operate recycling plants that we jointly established with home electronics manufacturers and collaborate among the Group's divisions to maximize resource recycling and contribute to building a recycling-oriented society.
In the energy business, we are building new geothermal power generation plants as part of our aim to become Japan's leader in geothermal power generation volume.
In the environmental and recycling businesses, we are taking advantage of the technologies cultivated through home electronics recycling to promote automobile recycling. We are also working to convert food waste into energy.
We have begun a biogas conversion verification test for food and other waste at a sewage treatment plant managed by Saitama Prefecture.
Each year, Japan generates some 17 million tons of food-related waste. Currently, around 20% of that amount is recycled into feed and fertilizer, but the majority is incinerated. Every year, the country also generates approximately 2.2 million tons of sewage sludge, some 80% of which is recycled as cement raw materials and other construction materials. To promote the conversion of this biomass to resources, we believe it is important to expand its conversion to and use as energy.
After using methane fermentation to convert biomass to biogas, the resulting biogas can be used effectively to produce electricity, heat and other forms of energy. In recent years, this groundbreaking technology has garnered attention for its ability to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, encourage the generation of energy in the location where it is used and take advantage of the feed-in tariff (FIT) system for renewable energy.
We are working to create recycling technologies that will allow the residues remaining after conversion to biogas to be used in our cement plants. We are also considering the commercialization of such technology, working into tandem with municipal government bodies, waste emitters and transport companies.
Our resource business traces its roots back to the time just after the Meiji Restoration and Tsukumo Shokai, the predecessor to Mitsubishi Shokai, which managed the mining of coal and metals. Since that time, we have taken part in the acquisition and development of coal and metal mines in Japan and overseas. In the company's prime, we had operations at more than 100 locations, but post-war resource depletion, increasingly unattractive conditions for coal extraction and the energy revolution led to the closure of all coal and metal mines in Japan. However, by leveraging the expertise we developed through the management of the resource business, we embarked on overseas resource exploration and wind and geothermal power generation, putting in place the foundations for the resource and recycling businesses of today.
|1881||Acquired the Takashima Coal Mine|
|1898||Established the Nagata Hydroelectric Power Station|
|1907||Established the Ikari Hydroelectric Power Station|
|1963||Established Dia Consultants Co., Ltd., acquired the Toledo Mine in the Philippines|
|1964||Established OTE Kaihatsu Co., Ltd. (later Mitsubishi Materials Natural Resources Development Corporation, now Mitsubishi Materials Techno Corporation)|
|1968||Established Japan Drilling Co., Ltd.|
|1971||Established Mitsubishi Nuclear Fuel Co., Ltd.|
|1973||Began development of the Mamut Mine in Malaysia|
|1976||Established the Onuma Geothermal Power Station|
|1977||Established Australia Mitsubishi Mining and Cement Pty., Ltd. (now Mitsubishi Materials (Australia) Pty., Ltd.)|
|1994||Established Hachimantai Geothermal Corporation|
|1995||Established the Sumikawa Geothermal Power Station|
|1999||Established East Japan Recycling Systems Corporation|
|2004||Established Chubu Eco Technology Co., Ltd.|
|2013||Established LM Sun Power Co., Ltd.|