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Sumitomo Corp to build 50 MW biomass power plant in Sakata

Sumitomo Corporation, one of Japan’s largest business conglomerates, has announced that will construct a 50 MW biomass power plant in Sakata City, Yamagata Prefecture through Summit Energy Corporation, a power producer, and supplier wholly owned by Sumitomo Corporation. Scheduled to be commissioned in May 2018 it positions Sumitomo as one of the largest biomass power plant owners and operators in the country.

Stockpiles of imported biomass fuels, woodchips (left) and palm kernel shells (PKS) at a Japanese port terminal.

Stockpiles of imported biomass fuels, woodchips (left) and palm kernel shells (PKS) at a Japanese port terminal.

According to a statement, the 50 MW Sakata Biomass Power Plant will be constructed in the Sakata Rinkai Industrial Park located adjacent to the Port of Sakata and will be operated by Summit Sakata Power Corporation, a company established in December 2012 and wholly owned by Summit Energy.

The total project costs are expected to be about JPY 25 billion (≈ US$ 229 million). Construction work will start around June 2016 and the plant is scheduled to be put into commercial operation in May 2018.

The 50 MW biomass power plant will be one of the largest in the Tohoku region. Biomass fuels will be procured through Sumitomo Corporation’s Materials, Supplies & Real Estate Division. It is planned that fuels will be procured not just from local sources—such as unused wood materials and timber off-cuts from within and around Yamagata Prefecture, an area with abundant forest resources—but also from overseas sources as well.

With the addition of the Sakata Biomass Power Plant to its existing power plants—the 50 MW Itoigawa Biomass Power Plant, which went into commercial operation in January 2005, and the 75 MW Handa Biomass Power Plant, which is slated to start commercial operation by June 2017—Summit Energy will become one of the largest biomass power plant owners and operators in Japan.

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