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India, US sign pact for FutureGen project

Our Bureau

To set up coal-based power plant in the US


Prestigious project
The FutureGen project aims at producing electricity from coal without any carbon emission.
The project is being touted as the first plant in the world to produce both electricity and commercial-grade hydrogen from coal simultaneously.
The project would be built by FutureGen Industry Alliance

New Delhi , April 3

India today signed an agreement with the US for participating in the $950-million `FutureGen' project, which aims at producing electricity from coal without any carbon emission.

The framework protocol, signed here by the Power Secretary, Mr R.V. Shahi, and the US Assistant Secretary of Energy, Mr Jeffrey D. Jarret, follows the decision taken by the Government to participate in the project during the visit of the President, Mr George W. Bush, last month.

"It makes us proud to say that India is the first Government member in the prestigious project. The Government will contribute $10 million in the project," the Power Minister, Mr Sushilkumar Shinde, said after the signing in ceremony. The FutureGen project is a public-private initiative to build and operate the world's first coal-based power plant in the US that removes and captures carbon dioxide while it produces electricity. The project, expected to be commissioned by 2012, could also see participation by Indian companies, Mr Shahi said, adding that India would benefit immensely from the project.

Participation in the project would entitle India to full membership on the FutureGen Government Steering Committee to provide guidance on the project, relating to scope, design, objectives, testing and evaluation. India would also have access to reports and other project related information, access to Indian scientists and engineers for visiting project facility and a royalty-free licence in all countries to translate, reproduce and distribute reports arising from cooperation under the agreement.

The FutureGen project is being touted as the first plant in the world to produce both electricity and commercial-grade hydrogen from coal simultaneously. The project will emit virtually no airborne pollutants, solid wastes would be converted to commercially valuable products and carbon gases would be captured before they escape into atmosphere.

"India's participation in the project is independent of the India-US nuclear deal and the US would not have to seek Congressional approval for this project," the US Assistant Secretary, Mr Jeffrey D. Jarret, said.

Mr Jarret said the project would be built by FutureGen Industry Alliance and efforts were on at present to locate a site for the project.

The agreement was signed on the sidelines of a meeting of Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum — a voluntary climate initiative that includes 22 developed and developing nations. Speaking about the benefits for India from the initiative, Mr Shinde said the project would provide "valuable information and knowledge" on this potential solution for zero emission coal energy generation technology.

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