Corporate Information

Press Release (Feb 08,2006)
Toyota Tsusho, TEPCO to Invest and Participate in Thailand Biogas CDM Project Companies to purchase carbon credits from recovering methane from tapioca starch factory

                                                        February 8, 2006 
                                               Toyota Tsusho Corporation 
                                      Tokyo Electric Power Company, Inc. 

Toyota Tsusho Corporation (Head Office: Nakamura-ku, Nagoya; President: 
Junzo Shimizu) and Tokyo Electric Power Company, Inc.(TEPCO; Head Office: 
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; President: Tsunehisa Katsumata) agreed to invest and 
participate in Cassava Waste to Energy Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred 
to as  "CWTE"), an operating company, established by the Clean Energy 
Development Co. (Thailand) Ltd., of a project to recover methane from a 
tapioca starch factory in Kalasin Province, Northeast Thailand. Construction 
of the project facilities began today. 

Cassava[*1], the raw material used in tapioca starch production, is widely 
grown in Thailand, where it is the second most important agricultural 
product. Tapioca starch factories, however, produce organic wastewater 
that releases methane[*2]. With no legal restrictions on these emissions, 
this methane has been released to the atmosphere up to now. 

In this project, CWTE will build methane recovery equipments, digesters 
and other facilities. Methane will be recovered as biogas and sold back 
to the factory instead of going into the atmosphere. This will enable 
significant reductions in factory emissions of methane as well as in the 
amount of heavy oil currently used as boiler fuel for the factory. 
Toyota Tsusho and TEPCO, moreover, have reached a basic agreement with 
the CWTE to purchase carbon credits from this project. In the six years 
from December 2006 to December 2012, the credits they purchase are expected 
to reach approximately the equivalent of 600,000 tons CO2 (360,000 tons 
for Toyota Tsusho, 240,000 tons for TEPCO). The two companies expect that 
this project will be approved as a Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)[*3] 
project under the Kyoto Protocol. 
Toyota Tsusho and TEPCO have previously taken proactive initiatives to 
reduce greenhouse gases in Japan and abroad through carbon credit purchases 
and other means, but the new project marks as the companies' first direct 
investment and participation in a CDM project operator. 

Toyota Tsusho considers the environment as one of its main fields of 
endeavor and believes that promoting its environmental businesses will 
contribute to building a sustainable society. The company looks forward 
to greater involvement in recycling and in products designed to reduce 
global warming and protect the environment. 

At TEPCO, taking steps to help prevent global warming has become one of 
the management's most important priorities. As such, TEPCO continues to 
promote global warming countermeasures in Japan and abroad. These include 
electricity supply-side and demand-side initiatives in Japan and the 
acquisition of carbon credits made available through overseas project 

[*1] Cassava 
A perennial shrub native to Latin America. It grows well in unhealthy land and acidic soils and is widely cultivated in Thailand. Cassava tolerates dry conditions. It is easy to propagate in tropical climates, needing only to have a stem planted in the soil. The long, thin root grows fleshy to the length of 30 - 80cm. High-quality tapioca starch is made by mashing the root and allowing it to precipitate. [*2] Methane (CH4) Methane is a chemical emitted during fermentation of organic wastewater released in the process of making tapioca starch from cassava. Methane has 21 times the greenhouse effect of CO2, and thus burning methane and decomposing it into CO2 and water can greatly reduce greenhouse gases. [*3] CDM (Clean Development Mechanism) A system under which industrialized nations and transitional economy nations perform projects to reduce emissions (or increase carbon absorption) of greenhouse gases in industrializing nations. The resulting emissions reductions are acquired by the industrialized nation or transitional economy nation in the form of carbon credits. The CDM is one of the three Kyoto Mechanisms, which also include Joint Implementation (JI), in which carbon credits are acquired from projects to reduce emissions (or increase carbon absorption) of greenhouse gases in industrialized nations and transitional economy nations, and Emissions Trading (ET), in which industrialized nations and transitional economy nations trade emissions credits under their respective emissions caps. The Kyoto Mechanisms are economic mechanisms established in the Kyoto Protocol in 1997. They are intended to add flexibility for making greenhouse gas reductions.
back to page top

to TOP