July 26, 2017 / 7:37 AM / 2 years ago

Japan environment minister to urge to rethink on coal project: media

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan’s environment minister is likely to recommend the trade ministry reconsider a coal-fired power project planned by Chubu Electric Power Co amid concerns over rising carbon emissions, local media said on Wednesday.

The likely recommendation comes as the environment ministry has stepped up concerns over the growing use of coal for power generation after the 2010 Fukushima nuclear disaster led to the shutdown of most nuclear reactors until now.

A ministry official said Environment Minister Kouichi Yamamoto has been increasing calls to tackle rising CO2 emissions in new fossil-fuel power projects. The minister would issue an opinion on Chubu’s Taketoyo project soon, but the details were being finalized, he said.

The environment ministry first objected in 2015 to Chubu’s plan to build a 1.07-gigawatt coal-fired unit at its Taketoyo plant in central Japan to replace aging oil-fired units.

In February, Chubu said it would mix biomass with coal to reduce carbon dioxide emissions at the plant, but the environment ministry is seeking further measures, including a re-consideration of the project itself, Kyodo news agency said.

Japan may not achieve its carbon emissions target if an ambitious plan to build more coal-fired power plants pushes ahead, Yamamoto told Reuters last month, underlining Tokyo’s struggle to meet globally agreed goals to halt climate change.

Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Richard Pullin

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