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U.S. and India Sign Historic Agreement on FutureGen Project

April 3, 2006 - 10:02am

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India to Participate in World's First Integrated CO2 Sequestration and Hydrogen Production Research Power Plant, FutureGen Initiative

NEW DELHI, INDIA - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the signing of an agreement with India that makes it the first country to join the U.S. on the government steering committee for the FutureGen Initiative. FutureGen is an initiative to build and operate the world's first coal-based power plant that removes and sequesters carbon dioxide (CO2) while producing electricity and hydrogen.

"Adding India to our list of partners is an exciting step for the FutureGen project," Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman said. "The success of FutureGen will lead to the environmentally clean use of coal to power economies around the globe."

Today's signing follows President Bush's March 2 - 4 trip to India, during which he and Indian Prime Minister Singh first announced the joint agreement on FutureGen. India will contribute $10 million to the FutureGen Initiative and Indian companies are also expected to participate in the private sector segment.

On behalf of the United States, Department of Energy Assistant Secretary Jeffrey Jarrett signed the agreement. Signing for India was the Honorable R. V. Shahi, Secretary, India Ministry of Power.

"This is a milestone event that builds on our work with the public and private sectors to build the first zero-emissions power plant," said Jeffrey Jarrett, DOE Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy. "FutureGen is an important component of President Bush's Advanced Energy Initiative, which could help revolutionize the way we power our cars, homes, and businesses. FutureGen could allow the world to use advanced coal technology to fuel our planet in an environmentally conscientious way."

India's participation in the $1 billion FutureGen project builds upon the U.S.-India Energy Dialogue launched in May 2005. That agreement aims to increase U.S.-India trade and investment in the Indian energy sector.

The FutureGen Initiative is a ten-year effort announced by President Bush in 2003 to integrate advanced coal gasification technology, hydrogen from coal, power generation, and carbon dioxide capture and geologic storage. The success of FutureGen will assure that coal, a low-cost, abundant, and geographically diverse energy resource, continues to globally supply exceptionally clean energy.

Secretary Bodman has invited government members of the international Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF) to become active participants in the FutureGen project. The CSLF is a voluntary climate initiative that includes 20 developed and developing nations plus the European Commission. CSLF members are engaged in cooperative technology development aimed at enabling the early reduction and steady elimination of the carbon dioxide. India is the first CSLF member to participate in FutureGen.

FutureGen will initiate operations around 2012 and will be the first plant in the world to produce both electricity and commercial-grade hydrogen from coal, simultaneously.

Virtually every aspect of the 275 megawatt prototype plant will be based on cutting-edge technology. Technologies planned for testing at the prototype plant could ultimately lead to power plants that are fuel-flexible and capable of multi-product output and electrical efficiencies over 60 percent. And they could provide future electric power generation with zero emissions, including carbon dioxide, which is only 10 percent higher in cost than electricity without the capture of carbon dioxide.

FutureGen will emit virtually no airborne pollutants; solid wastes will be converted to commercially valuable, environmentally benign products; and carbon gases will be captured before they escape into the atmosphere.

FutureGen is a public-private partnership involving DOE and a broad, open consortium of industrial coal producers and electric utilities (FutureGen Industrial Alliance), as well as state governments and international participants. The FutureGen project will be supported by the leading U.S. sources of technology and innovation: universities, national laboratories, and industry.

For more information on FutureGen visit http://www.fossil.energy.gov/programs/powersystems/futuregen/index.html.

Media contact(s):

Craig Stevens, (202) 586-4940

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