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India becomes the first nation to accept U.S. invitation to participate in new clean coal project

WASHINGTON, DC - President George W. Bush announced today that India will become the first country to participate on the government steering committee for the U.S. Department of Energy's FutureGen project - an initiative to build and operate the world's first coal-based power plant that removes and sequesters carbon dioxide (CO2) while it produces electricity and hydrogen.  As a partner, the Indian government will contribute $10 million to the FutureGen Initiative and Indian companies will also be invited to participate in the private sector segment.

"We welcome India in to our effort to build the first zero-emissions coal power plant," Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman said.  "The success of the FutureGen Initiative will lead to the effective and environmentally clean use of coal to power economies around the globe."

FutureGen will use coal - a low-cost, abundant, and geographically diverse energy resource - to globally supply clean energy.  The FutureGen Initiative is a 10-year effort announced by President Bush in 2003 to integrate advanced coal gasification technology, hydrogen from coal, power generation, carbon dioxide capture, and geologic storage. 

Secretary Bodman has invited government leaders of the multi-national Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF) to become active participants in the FutureGen project.  The CSLF is a voluntary climate initiative that includes 20 nations and the European Commission.  CSLF members are engaged in cooperative technology development aimed at enabling the early reduction and steady elimination of carbon dioxide.  India is the first CSLF member to participate in FutureGen, and it 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 by bringing together public agencies and private industries to develop secure, clean, reliable and affordable sources of energy. 

FutureGen is scheduled to begin 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.  Eventually, the technologies could provide electric power generation with no emissions, including carbon dioxide, at a market competitive cost.  FutureGen will emit virtually no airborne pollutants; no wastewater will be discharged; solid wastes will be converted to commercially valuable, environmentally benign products and carbon gases will be captured before they escape into the atmosphere.

DOE's recently released FY 2007 budget request supports the key technologies needed for FutureGen.  These include carbon sequestration, membrane technologies for oxygen and hydrogen separation, advanced turbines, fuel cells, coal-to-hydrogen conversion gasifier related technologies, and other technologies.

FutureGen is a public-private partnership involving DOE and a broad, open consortium of industrial coal producers and electric utilities (the 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.

Media contact(s):

Craig Stevens, 202/586-4940