The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is lending its support to China’s efforts to develop clean coal technology.

The bank’s Board of Directors has approved a $135 million loan for the construction and operation of China’s first commercial-scale integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) plant at Tianjin City. The 250 MW plant will be the first of its kind to be built in a developing country.

The Tianjin project is the cornerstone of GreenGen, China’s clean coal technology development programme that aims to mitigate the impact of the country’s heavy reliance on coal.

“The project will demonstrate the advantages of a technology with the potential for large greenhouse gas emission reductions,” said Ashok Bhargava, Principal Energy Specialist in ADB’s East Asia Department. “Its successful implementation will bolster the confidence of investors, project developers, and policymakers leading to scaled-up IGCC power plants and their expanded deployment.”

ADB is also planning to help with the second and third phases of GreenGen, which will result in a scaled-up IGCC plant fitted with carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology, by providing $1.25 million in technical assistance.

To help curb risks linked to the adoption of the new technology and to keep costs down, ADB is providing a $5 million grant from its Climate Change Fund to finance direct supervision and technical support from the component suppliers during the critical initial operation and maintenance phase at Tianjin. It will also be used to help strengthen project management capacity and to ensure compliance with key safeguards.

As the IGCC technology reduces coal use and GHG emissions, the project is expected to be eligible for carbon credits under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the Kyoto Protocol. ADB is providing technical support to help with the CDM registration process.