Two sides also discuss possibility of technological cooperation in gas hydrates that are tough to extract

In the second interaction of its kind this year, India has agreed to test-run Japanese projects intended to improve or utilise the country’s basic energy resources such as coal and water.

During the India-Japan Energy Dialogue, which took place in Japan on Wednesday, the two sides also discussed the possibility of technological cooperation in the difficult-to-extract gas hydrates, touched on the possibility of developing an almost carbon-free integrated gasification combined cycle project in India and reviewed ongoing renewable energy projects, Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia told The Hindu from Tokyo.

Japan is heavily involved in Indian energy efficiency projects of varying sizes and depending on their performance, its companies could vie for orders that have been on offer to improve the performance of the existing plants relating to Coal India Limited’s plans to spend Rs. 5,000 crore on better technologies for coal washeries.

With ash content rising as Indian coal mines age, washeries can remove the impurities — estimated at about half of the coal volume — thus reducing the energy that the railways have to spend in haulage, explained Mr. Ahluwalia. In this respect, the forum called for the renewal of the memorandum of understanding that would facilitate the utilisation of a high-efficient washery technology by Monnet Ispat.

India showed interest in a mini-hydel project that generates electricity with a two-metre drop, which is the usual depth in canals here.

The meeting also took stock of a 5 MW solar plant which, if highly scalable, could be a major source of energy for the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor’s “smart cities.” All these concepts are currently on the drawing board.

The pending civil nuclear agreement was not discussed, said an official involved in the talks but separately India made a presentation on its plans for expanding civil nuclear energy generation. The presentation was made to an audience consisting largely of those from the private sector.

Companies based in Japan control some critical component technologies and invariably stand to gain when orders are placed on most leading nuclear power plant makers.

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