#01 Environmental Measures at the Mizushima Coastal Industrial Zone #02 The Recycling Rate in Kurashiki Makes Rapid Improvement

Mizushima and Environmental Issues

JFE graph Squeezing Out the 1% Possibility Environmental Measures at the Mizushima Coastal Industrial Zone

Construction of the Mizushima Coastal Industrial Zone began in the 50's. The area which is called a "Kombinat" had developed into one of the nation's leading industrial areas by the 60's. 248 companies occupy the area and the products shipped from there exceed well over 3.6 trillion yen anually. From an economical point of view, benefits enjoyed by Okayama Prefecture and Kurashiki-City are immeasurable. However, from an environmental aspect, problems stemming from industrial zone are serious, now even more so when faced with the task of reducing CO2 emissions. However, each company is taking measures of their own.
At JFE Steel, Basic Unit for Energy (energy used per a ton of steel) was reduced by 14% compared to their level in 1990 by efforts such as improving efficiency of the facility. (Fiscal Year 2006) This has resulted in a 14% increase in production while reducing CO2 emissions by 4%. Moreover, the company has invested 950 million yen this year to begin constructing a Coke Dry-Quenching Plant. This system which reuses vapor produced during coke production to generate electricity can reduce 0.1 million tons of CO2 per annum. (Scheduled to be completed in 2009.) Besides this, in regards to raw material for steel, the company seeks to increase the proportion of scraps that require less energy than iron ores in its process. However, this kind of self-effort has hit its limit. "We have done everything we can at the moment. Further reduction of CO2 emission is only possible should an epoch making technology such as production of steel without use of iron ores is developed."(P.R., JFE Steel)
This seems to be true at most companies that belong to the Industrial Zone. Mr. Koji Okuyama in charge of Environmental Matters at Mitsubishi Motors Corporation says, "There are no prospects for dramatic improvement. Improvement of facilities has come to its limit. If there is as much as 1% room for improvement, we will take action. The result of repeating that 1% is not small." Mitsubishi Motors has succeeded in cutting back on 4.6 tons of CO2 by replacing vehicles used in supplying auto parts in their plant with electrical tractors. Furthermore, they are attempting to reduce CO2 in the field of distribution by rearranging their pickup points to minimize transportation by trucks.