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Environment minister releases opinion on J-Power’s coal power plant

  • December 17, 2021
  • , Nikkei , p. 5
  • JMH Translation

On Dec. 16, Environment Minister Yamaguchi Tsuyoshi released an opinion paper based on an environmental impact assessment of Electric Power Development Co. (J-Power)’s plan to add high-efficiency equipment to a coal-fired power plant in Nagasaki Prefecture. Yamaguchi asked J-Power to review the project if the plan did not meet the government’s greenhouse gas emission reduction targets. The opinion was submitted to the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) on Dec. 16.


This is the first opinion on fossil fuel-based thermal power since the government set the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 46% of 2013 figures.


J-Power plans to install gas equipment to reduce emissions at Matsushima Thermal Power Station Unit 2 (output 500,000 kW) in Saikai City, Nagasaki Prefecture. J-Power plans to extract flammable gases such as hydrogen and carbon monoxide from coal and improve power generation efficiency by combining a gas turbine and a steam turbine.


Yamaguchi’s opinion paper called on J-Power to replace as soon as possible fossil fuels with alternative fuels such as biomass and ammonia toward the 2030 target and the 2050 net zero target. The opinion paper also requested J-Power to implement measures such as the utilization of carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS), in which carbon dioxide is collected without emitting it to the atmosphere. Yamaguchi urged METI to encourage the power industry to systematically reduce emissions.


In the environmental assessment, J-Power prepares and releases a total of four reports that evaluate the impact on the environment at the planning stage. METI will provide the operator with an assessment that takes into account the environment minister’s opinion before approving the finalized plan.

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