Primary contents from here.
Coal, Nuclear & Solar
In coal, we are collaborating with the leading resources company Xstrata to operate coal-producing joint ventures in Queensland and New South Wales in Australia, with annual production output exceeding 30 million tons. We also acquired a 20% interest in 2011 in a coal mine in Colombia with an annual production output of 25 million tons. Moreover, we are carrying out coal-producing joint ventures with local partners in Indonesia. Through these initiatives, we are steadily supplying coal mainly to steel and electric power industries in Japan.
In nuclear fuels, we undertake uranium trading, uranium mine exploration and uranium enrichment services and we take pride in handling the second highest trade volume among companies trading in nuclear fuel worldwide. In the biomass field where further growth is expected in the future, we are engaged in manufacturing and selling solid biomass fuel made from palm tree debris, sugarcane residue or rice husks, thus contributing to improvements in Japan's adoption ratio of renewable energy.
In the field of greenhouse gas emission quotas, we are undertaking emission trading and projects to create emission credits.
In the solar industry, we are active along many points of the supply chain, from ingot and wafer production, to the design, sales and construction of photovoltaic (PV) power generation systems (system integration business), to investment in PV and solar thermal power generation projects. Our business activities are global in nature, including operations in Japan, key European markets, and in North America. The entire PV industry supply chain is experiencing significant cost reduction pressure with a target of reaching cost parity with electric grid prices in the near future, driven by technical innovation and economies of scale. We are exploring various additional business opportunities to further this goal, ranging from the supply of raw materials, such as polysilicon and other key solar-related inputs, to equity investment and partnership with companies developing breakthrough technologies and business models, ultimately aiming to structure ITOCHU as a key global player in a very competitive solar value chain.