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Hitachi, Ltd. has conducted R&D on the coal-based high-efficiency technologies for the IGCC (Integrated coal Gasification Combined Cycle), IGFC (Integrated coal Gasification Fuel Cell) combined cycle, PFBC (Pressurized Fluidized Bed Combustion), MCFC (Molten Carbonate Fuel Cell) and the USC (ultra-supercritical) steam condition.
Hitachi is designing the pilot plant for the EAGLE project of the Electric Power Development Co., Ltd. (EPDC), which aims at establishing a coal gas production technology acceptable for fuel cells. Hitachi is also constructing a 250-MWe PFBC plant in Osaki for The Chugoku Electric Power Co., Inc.
A 1000-kW MCFC pilot plant is currently being developed, for operation in 1999. The MCFC will be available as a large capacity power generation system in the near future. The maximum steam temperature for the USC plants was around 600 degrees Celsius, using ferritic steel. However, 12Cr steel enables an increase in the steam temperature to 630-650 degrees Celsius.