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Mitsubishi Corporation Power and Kansai Electric begin Aioi power plant conversion

In Japan, Mitsubishi Corporation Power Ltd (MCP), a wholly owned subsidiary of global industrial conglomerate Mitsubishi Corporation (MC), has announced that it has commenced work required to build a new biomass power generation plant in Hyogo Prefecture, western Japan. The project is being executed through Aioi Bioenergy Corporation (Aioi Bioenergy).

Aioi Bioenergy, a joint venture between Mitsubishi Corporation Power (MCP) and Kansai Electric Power Co.
(KEPCO), has secured financing for the conversion of Unit 2 at Aioi Power Station from oil to wood pellets.
The 375 MW unit is expected to commence operations in January 2023  (photo courtesy KEPCO).

According to a statement, Aioi Bioenergy, a joint venture (JV) established with the Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc (KEPCO) in April 2017,  has reached an agreement with lenders for the procurement of a loan under a non-recourse project finance scheme, and this has enabled Aioi Bioenergy to embark on plant design and procurement of equipment.

This project will operate Unit 2 of Aioi Power Station, located in Hyogo Prefecture, after facilitating conversion from its current use of heavy fuel oil (HFO) or crude oil as fuel sources to the use of woody biomass.

The 375 MW Unit has been offline since April 1, 2018, but will fire up once the refurbishing and construction of boilers, fuel conveyer systems and turbines, as well as the replacement of relevant plant components and other necessary installations, are complete. Operations as a biomass power generation facility are slated to commence in January 2023 and run for a 20-year period under the feed-in tariff (FIT) scheme.

The biomass power generation plant will be fueled by using wood pellets, which will also allow the facility to operate as a baseload plant. The project is in line with Mitsubishi Corporation’s ambition to “accelerate progress” towards making renewable energy surpass 20 percent of its total attributable power generation by 2030.

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