Usage Orimulsion meets resistance

Sep 13, 1997 02:00 AM

In Japan, pressure from local groups concerned about safety has led Hokkaido Electric Power Co. to shelve plans to use the new fuel Orimulsion in combination with fuel oil at its Shiriuchi thermal-power plant.
Concerned about its ability to provide sufficient power during the winter months the company has applied to a regional agency for permission to use fuel oil alone starting Sept. 26.
Orimulsion is an emulsified form of Orinoco tar, a natural asphalt produced in Venezuela. Thanks to its price -- it is about 30 % less expensive than fuel oil -- the substance is garnering interest as a fuel, and it is already being used at Kansai Electric Power Co. for some fuel requirements.
Hokkaido Electric, which decided to use the fuel as early as 1994, had set up long-term purchasing contracts through Mitsubishi Corp. However, questions over the safety of transporting the new fuel led the company to terminate shipments last December.

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