Mitsubishi Chemical will proceed with activities aimed at promoting energy conservation and reducing greenhouse gases based on Mitsubishi Chemical Holding`s target of "reducing greenhouse gas emissions more than 17% compared with fiscal 2005 levels by fiscal 2015" in its APTSIS 15 mid-term management plan. On the energy conservation front, Mitsubishi Chemical is also involved in ongoing efforts with respect to the non-binding targets set forth in the Act on the Rational Use of Energy (Energy-saving Act) of "reducing unit energy consumption by an average of 1% or more annually, seen from a medium- to long-term perspective."
Towards meeting these targets, we are systematically identifying and assessing energy-saving initiatives and the formulation of related plans, which are currently underway at all Mitsubishi Chemical facilities, beginning with five plants with significant energy consumption rates, Kashima, Mizushima, Yokkaichi, Kurosaki and Sakaide. Despite the high degree of technical difficulty, we investigated and undertook a major energy conservation project involving the participation of specialist engineers. In fiscal 2012, this project led to improved heat collection through process reforms as well as optimized operating conditions of facilities that consume major amounts of energy and a reduction in the thermal loss of heating furnaces. As a result, we reduced energy usage equivalent to around 30,000 tons of CO2.
In fiscal 2012, energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions increased compared with previous fiscal year levels due to the alleviation of long-term plant stoppages following the 2011 disaster and decreased production due to the economic slowdown. However, the degree of increase was minimal due mainly to suspended operations at large energy consuming plants. In terms of unit energy consumption the unit energy consumption index stood at 89.6 compared with fiscal 1990, a 5% improvement over the previous fiscal year. However, due to an inability to correct poorly balanced overall operations accompanying plant stoppages, the figure did not reach the record high unit energy consumption index value of 82.7 recorded in fiscal 2006. Further, Groupwide greenhouse gas emissions marked a 23% drop compared with fiscal 2005.
The Mitsubishi Chemical Group will continue striving to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the entire Group and develop and manufacture products that help conserve energy, thereby contributing to society's overall reduction of total greenhouse gas emissions.
Mitsubishi Chemical submits actual energy consumption amounts, energy consumption reduction plans and other reports to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry each year, as a specified consigner1 stipulated by the amended Act on the Rational Use of Energy that went into force in April 2006. For achieving the Act's target of reducing unit energy consumption by an average of 1% or more annually, seen from a medium- to long-term perspective, Mitsubishi Chemical has sought efficient energy usage together with logistics contractor Mitsubishi Chemical Logistics Corporation. Attempts are also being made to reduce CO2 emissions.
Mitsubishi Chemical has boosted the efficiency of coastal shipping vessels engaged in domestic sea transport and vehicles used for land transport by increasing lots (shipping lot volumes). Also, "friend" fins2 are attached to coastal shipping vessels, and about 300 transport vehicles are equipped with on-vehicle terminals that support eco-friendly driving, in addition to eco-friendly tires.
In addition to these initiatives, in fiscal 2012 Mitsubishi Chemical also installed contra-rotating propellers3 on coastal shipping vessels and continued the switch to export ports located closer to its production plants, an initiative commenced in the previous fiscal year. As a result, unit energy consumption decreased by 3.7% year on year, achieving the target of "reducing unit energy consumption by 1% or more annually." Despite a 5.2% year-on-year rise in shipping volume, CO2 emissions increased by only 1.2% year on year.
In fiscal 2013, Mitsubishi Chemical will continue the initiatives it has pursued to date and endeavor to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.1. Specified consigner: Business entity that transports 30 million tons-km of cargo in its possession each year. 2. "Friend" fin: A tactic for obtaining large thrust force by attaching several fins to the stern in front of the propellers, thereby regulating the water flow to the propeller. The propeller's propulsive efficiency is improved by the water flow-regulating function, enabling navigation with fewer rotations per minute at the same speed. This method helps conserve energy and reduce CO2 emissions. 3.Contra-rotating propellers: Two sets of propellers attached to each other that rotate in opposite directions. Energy lost by the front propeller is collected by the rear propeller, improving overall propulsion efficiency.