J-Power to close old coal-fired power plants by 2030

TOKYO, Oct 30 (Reuters) - Japan’s Electric Power Development Co Ltd (J-Power) plans to shut old and low-efficiency coal-fired power plants by 2030, in line with government policy, the company’s president said on Friday.

Industry minister Hiroshi Kajiyama said in July that Japan will introduce measures to accelerate the closure of old, inefficient coal power plants by 2030.

“We will be retiring aged coal-fired power plants sequentially toward 2030,” J-Power President Toshifumi Watanabe told a news conference.

Watanabe said no decisions have been made, but its plants in Takasago in western Japan (built in 1968-1969), in Matsushima in southern Japan (launched in 1981) and in Takehara in western Japan (built in 1983) would be the likely targets.

J-Power, the country’s biggest coal-fired power generator, may consider developing replacement plants using advanced technology such as gasification, he added.

The company has a total of 8.4 gigawatts of coal-fired power capacity in seven locations, along with other energy sources such as hydroelectric and solar power stations.

A government panel is deliberating on what constitutes an inefficient coal-fired plant, but Watanabe said it could encompass about 40% of J-Power’s coal-fired power capacity.

In April, J-Power unveiled an ambitious target to achieve zero carbon emissions by 2050 through carbon capture and utilisation technology as well as the expansion of renewables, nuclear and hydrogen power.

“It’s challenging, but we will brush up our technology to make it happen,” Watanabe said.

The company also said it is poised to sell its stake in Taiwan Chiahui Power, a 670 megawatt gas-fired power plant, to joint venture partner Asia Cement Company and book a one-off profit in the current business year to March 31. It did not disclose the terms of the deal.

Reporting by Yuka Obayashi Editing by David Goodman