Japan’s biomass power scenario looks promising with several new projects announced. The most recent announcement came from Takeei Corp – investing 3 billion yen ($28 million) in a 6-megawatt biomass plant in Iwate prefecture of northern Japan. Earlier this year, Sumitomo Corp. announced its plans to build a 75-megawatt biomass power station in Aichi prefecture in central Japan at a cost of 20 billion yen ($197 million). Further a 100-megawatt coal-fired thermal power plant in Akita Prefecture will be built by Nippon Paper Industries Co. – that will use timber from forest thinning apart from coal as feedstock.
While Takeei’s plant is expected to commence operations in two years’ time, generating electricity for about 14,000 homes, Sumitomo’s station is expected to start production by March 2017. Nippon’s plant is also slated to begin commenrical operations in the same year as Sumitomo.
Summit Energy – the power generation and retail unit of Sumitomo already has a biomass power plant and it is also planning a third biomass plant in eastern Japan with Sumitomo.
Nippon and many other paper industry majors are expanding into commercial power generation given the country’s shrinking paper industry and the proposed electricity sales liberalization.
While Oji Holdings Corp, has partnered with Itochu Enex Co. to found an electric power generation company; Daio Paper Corp. plans to enter the electricity retail market in the near future.
More on Japan’s biomass power markets will be discussed at Japan Biomass Power Market on 19-20 May, 2015 in Tokyo.
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