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CSR at the Energy & Chemicals Company
CSR at this Division Company
Promoting CSR through global environmental preservation and stable supply of high quality products
Ensuring stable supply of high quality products and services with maximum consideration for the global environment, we contribute to the realization of a sustainable society.
Yuji FukudaPresident, Energy & Chemicals Company
CSR Action Plans
Key points of our FY2012 action plans
Our group promotes stable supply of energy and environmentally friendly business like lithium-ion battery supply. We will also continue to provide education on related laws, regulations and safety tips to energy and chemical products.
Major CSR Initiatives
Business development of plant-derived energy
Since 2008, in partnership with Bunge Ltd., a major grain provider of the United States, we have been operating a business producing and selling bioethanol and sugar made from sugar cane. Two projects have been in progress in Minas Gerais and Tocantins of Brazil, which is the world's leading producer of bioethanol, providing about 30% of the world's supply. Bioethanol made from sugar cane in these projects is more effective in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions than that made from other materials. It is therefore widely viewed as an alternative for fossil-based fuel for transportation and power generation in a tight market environment. It is also expected to become a potential petrochemical feedstock.
We are planning to increase production of bioethanol in the above two projects up to 500,000 kl/year. In addition, we will develop the business further by extending our business to sugar sales as well as in-house power generation fueled by bagasse, the pulpy residue of sugar cane, from which the surplus electricity can be sold.
Initiatives in Lithium-ion Battery-related Business
The Chemicals Division is focusing on lithium-ion batteries, where demand is expected to grow for use in electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles, with business advances made to date in the area of component and materials production.
Through Simbol Materials, a U.S. company in which ITOCHU invested in June 2010, ITOCHU participated in the production of high-purity lithium carbonate for lithium-ion batteries (LiB).
Simbol is developing and promoting operations whereby lithium compounds are produced by extracting lithium from used geothermal brine at geothermal power plants. Simbol's manufacturing technology is being further developed and refined ahead of commercial production.
High-purity lithium carbonate is used as a raw material for electrolyte salts (LiPF6) used in electrolyte solution, one of the main components for LiB. It is used in LiB for electric cars, for which a demand is expected to grow rapidly in the near future, as well as in stationary rechargeable batteries and in the clean energy field.
Also, together with KUREHA Corporation and KURARAY Co., Ltd., we are involved in the joint development and commercialization of hard carbon for LiB anode material including “Biocarbotron”, a new hard carbon material derived from plants.