IHI Transport Machinery Co., Ltd, is one of major affiliates of IHI Corporation Group in Japan, and is a leading provider of cranes and material handling systems. Its bulk handling products include:
- continuous ship unloaders;
- belt type continuous ship unloaders;
- bridge type unloaders;
- pneumatic unloaders;
- gantry cranes for steel mill products;
- belt conveyors; and
- floating cranes.
One of IHI’s major focuses recently has been disaster rehabilitation. It has provided a range of coal handling systems for electric power companies which suffered extensive damage by the Great East Japan Earthquake on 11 March 2011. As well as Fukushima Daiichi (No.1) nuclear power plants, coal-fired power plants in Tohoku district were seriously damaged by the aforementioned Tohoku Earthquake.
The coal handling systems which IHI had delivered to Haranomachi thermal power station of Tohoku Electric Power Co., Inc. and Shinchi power station of Soma Kyodo Power Co., Ltd. were totally destroyed by the tsunami. Since continuous ship unloaders (CSUs) and belt conveyers (BCs) for both power plants were very seriously damaged, it was assumed that enormous time would be necessary for the restoration In these severely testing conditions, the large scale of recovery work has been carried out as national top priority project by a lot of companies, to make up for the decrease of power supply caused by the halt of several power plants in those areas. The above electric power companies, equipment and system suppliers, construction companies and other related companies united to achieve this difficult goal.
IHI also worked hard on the recovery and repair construction of the coal handling systems, in order to return them to working order in the shortest possible timeframe. The company examined an effective and safe removal method for blocks of CSUs and BCs damaged by the tsunami. It was also able to reduce the time needed by promoting construction efficiency, and by manufacturing blocks of the equipment in its factories, and transporting them assembled to the site.
As a result of IHI’s contribution, the Shinchi power station was able to resume power generation before the end of 2011, and the coal handling system there was back in full working order by the end of August 2012. In addition, the Haranomachi power station’s coal handling system was fully restored by June 2013.
Although there are still nationwide debates and discussions in Japan about future energy after the disaster in March 2011, the Japanese government has recently presented a new national energy policy based on the optimum combination of coal and LNG-fired power as well as nuclear and renewable power. Coal especially, is back in focus as a stable source of power generation, with the establishment of advanced technology for high combustion efficiency and low CO2 emissions. New coal-fired power projects are in demand in Japan.
IHI believes that the valuable experience and expertise it gained during the reconstruction work after the tsunami will contribute to its ability to provide coal-handling systems for future, eco-friendly coal-fired power plants — thus providing one solution for the energy needs of the future. At the same time, the company hopes that its contribution will help it to repay the kind support from all over the world in the wake of the March 2011 crisis.