News Apr 27

Japan’s Kansai Electric pulls plug on coal-fired power plant plan 

The utility firm is just the latest Japanese electricity generator to ditch proposals for coal or thermal-sourced power plants as the pressure to decarbonise grows 

by Sean OMeara
Japan’s Kansai Electric pulls plug on coal-fired power plant plan 
Pressure is growing on Japan's lenders to cut funding for coal power projects.

Japan’s Kansai Electric has axed plans to build a coal-fired power plant – just a week after Tokyo nearly doubled its 2030 target for carbon emissions cuts.

Kansai Electric Power Inc and trading and investment firm Marubeni Corp have scrapped proposals to construct the 1.3 gigawatt (GW) coal-fired plant because “feasibility has become tough to assess”, the utility said on Tuesday.

Japan's biggest coal-fired power generator, Electric Power Development Co Ltd (J-Power), also gave up on a plan this month to build a 1.2-GW coal-fired power plant, as the pressure to decarbonise increases at home and abroad.

Read more: Japan’s new emissions goals hinge on contentious return to nuclear power

"The decision reflected the Japanese government's policy to step up decarbonisation and banks' move to stop financing coal power projects," a spokesman for Kansai Electric said.

He added that the partners would consider building a biomass power plant at the site in the northern region of Akita instead.

In March, Chugoku Electric Power Co Inc and JFE Steel, a unit of JFE Holdings Inc, also cancelled a plan to build a thermal power station.

CLIMATE SUMMIT

A worldwide shift away from coal is accelerating in the battle on global warming, and Japan nearly doubled its 2030 target for a cut in carbon emissions last week as US President Joe Biden hosted a climate summit.

On Monday, Japan's biggest lender, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc, said it would stop financing upgrades of coal-fired power plants, as pressure grows for the country's lenders to cut funding for coal power.

  • Reporting by Reuters

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