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Sumitomo Corp to build 75 MW biomass power plant in Handa

Sumitomo Corporation, one of Japan’s largest business conglomerates, has announced that via Summit Energy Corporation, a power producer and supplier wholly owned by Sumitomo Corporation, will begin construction of 75 MW biomass power plant in the city of Handa in Aichi prefecture as a new power supply source for Summit Energy’s electric power retail business.

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 75 MW Handa Biomass Power Plant will be constructed adjacent to the Port of Kinuura in Handa-city and will be operated by Summit Handa Power Corporation, a company established in December 2012 and wholly owned by Summit Energy. The total project costs are expected to be about JPY 20 billion (≈ US$183 million).

Construction work will start around August 2014 and put into commercial operation within FY2016. The plant will be Japan’s largest dedicated biomass-fired power plant thus far. Biomass fuel such as woodchips and palm kernel shells (PKS) will be procured from domestic and abroad through Sumitomo Corporation’s Materials & Supplies Division.

Among various renewable energies, biomass-fired power generation is categorized as base load power generation on 24 hours-operation and, as such, it will be able to meet the power demand of Summit Energy’s quality customers and, following the full deregulation of electric power retail market for household use scheduled in FY2016.

The Handa Biomass Power Plant will be Summit Energy’s second biomass power plant, the first being the 50 MW Itoigawa Biomass Power Plant that went into commercial operation in January 2005.

Sumitomo Corporation and Summit Energy intend to increase their power supply source focusing on renewable energy, making use of the Feed-In-Tariff (FIT) mechanism in Japan enforced in July 2012. Already another project of new biomass power plant is under feasibility study in eastern Japan, and the two companies are moving ahead with or considering several solar and wind power projects both in Japan and overseas.

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