News | October 20, 2016

Companies Set Up To Run World's Most Advanced Coal-Fired Thermal Power Plants In Fukushima

Mitsubishi Corporation Power Ltd., a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Corporation, along with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd., Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc. and Joban Joint Power Co., Ltd. have established two joint ventures, Nakoso IGCC Power GK*1 and Hirono IGCC Power GK*2, for the construction and operation of the world's most advanced coal-fired power plants in Fukushima, Japan. Approvals that were previously granted to Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc. and Joban Joint Power Co, Ltd., following the environmental impact assessment they had undertaken on behalf of the project, were today transferred to the newly established companies.

The total cost of the project surpasses 300 billion yen, a portion of which will be financed from contributions made by the five participating companies. The remainder will be sourced from a number of domestic financial institutions, including The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd., Development Bank of Japan Inc., Mizuho Bank Ltd., Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and Fukushima's The Toho Bank, Ltd. In terms of project financing, this is considered to be one of the largest ever of this scale domestically. All the contributors have signed on to providing financing within the context of their support for recovery in Tohoku following the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami of 2011.

The five companies reached a basic agreement for this project on August 19, 2015, and have since been working out the details for a start-up of operations during the early 2020s. With the construction and operating companies established, financing procured, and the relevant environmental approvals obtained, the project is now ready to get underway.

Going forward, then, Nakoso IGCC Power GK and Hirono IGCC Power GK will each set up and operate a 540 megawatt plant, one next to Joban Joint Power Co., Ltd.'s Nakoso Power Station in Iwaki City and the other at the site of TEPCO Fuel & Power, Inc.'s Hirono Thermal Power Station in the Futaba District, respectively. The new facilities will utilize next generation clean coal technology based on the Integrated coal gasification combined cycle, or IGCC*3, with operations slated to start in September 2020 in the case of the Nakoso plant and in September 2021 in the case of the Hirono plant.

With the support and cooperation of the community and the national government and that of the prefectural and local governments in Fukushima, Nakoso IGCC Power GK and Hirono IGCC Power GK will leverage the experience and know-how that their parent companies have developed in the power generation business to procure the relevant materials and execute construction as well as to undertake follow-up surveillance assessments once operations get underway. The expectation is that this project will go a long way in contributing to economic revitalization*4 in Fukushima and help shore up the prefecture’s industrial base.

*1 Nakoso IGCC Power GK was established with capital from the five partners - Mitsubishi Corporation Power Ltd., Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd., Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc. and Joban Joint Power Co., Ltd., and inherited the environmental approvals which were secured by Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc. and Joban Joint Power Co., Ltd. following an assessment undertaken at the Nakoso site.

*2 Hirono IGCC Power GK was established with capital from the four of the partners - Mitsubishi Corporation Power Ltd., Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd., Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, and Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc., and inherited the environmental approvals which were secured by Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc. following an assessment undertaken at the Hirono site.

*3 Integrated coal Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC)
IGCC systems generate power using a combined cycle format incorporating coal gasification and both gas and steam turbines. IGCC systems offer enhanced generation efficiency**, as well as reductions in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of about 15% in comparison with the latest conventional coal fired power plant.

** Thermal efficiency: approximately 48% (net thermal efficiency based on a lower heating value basis)

*4 From the start of relevant environmental assessment through to implementation of operations, the project is expected to generate an economic ripple effect in Fukushima Prefecture estimated at 80 billion yen per plant over the next few decades, with employment opportunities for up to 2,000 persons/day at the peak of construction.

SOURCE: Mitsubishi Corporation Power Ltd.