Tokyo Gas has announced that its gas-fired power plant in the United States has started operations. The project was jointly funded with Sojitz Corporation and others. Boasting a generating capacity of 488,000 kW, the Birdsboro Power Plant uses price-competitive shale gas for fuel. The total project costs have not been released. This is the first time for Tokyo Gas to participate in an overseas power generation project from the construction stages.
The plant is located in Pennsylvania. A local subsidiary of Tokyo Gas and an American investment fund each invested 33.3% in the project, while Sojitz invested 22.2% and Kyushu Electric Power, 11.1%. The plant harnesses a highly efficient “combined cycle” that uses waste heat in addition to the heat produced by burning gas.
The gas the plant uses as fuel comes from the Marcellus Shale located in the northeastern United States. The electricity generated will be sold to PJM Interconnection LLC (PJM), one of the largest regional transmission organizations in the nation, and the power supplied to the northeastern United States.
Infrastructure investment has accelerated in the United States under the Trump administration, and Japanese companies are participating in power generation projects one after another, bolstered by the increase in the amount of shale produced in the U.S. This is also the first time for Sojitz to participate in a large-scale power generation project in the United States. Sumitomo Corporation, Electric Power Development (J-Power), and JERA, a joint venture of Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings and Chubu Electric Power, are also participating in the operation of power plants in the United States.