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Japan’s Electric Power Development (J-Power) said on Friday it had scraped a plan to build a 1.2 gigawatt (GW) coal-fired power plant in Yamaguchi, western Japan, after a comprehensive assessment of the changing business environment.

“We have decided to cancel our plan after considering demand outlook in western Japan, rising capacity of renewable energy and other circumstances surrounding our business environment,” Hitoshi Kanno, executive managing officer at J-Power told a news conference.

The move comes amid a growing global trend towards decarbonisation and after Chugoku Electric Power and JFE Steel cancelled a plan to build a thermal power station last month.

J-Power, Japan’s biggest coal-fired power generator, also said it planned to build a gasification facility at the No.2 coal-fired power plant in its Matsushima station in Nagasaki, southern Japan, to improve efficiency and curb CO2 emissions.

“We aim to further reduce CO2 emissions by co-firing biomass and ammonia in the future and use carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS) technology in the further future,” Kanno said. “It would be the first step toward our goal of realising CO2-free hydrogen power generation and CO2-free hydrogen production and supply,” he said.

J-Power will use technology developed at its Osaki CoolGen’s project in Hiroshima, western Japan, which generates electricity with both gas turbines and steam turbines through a coal gasification combined cycle, turning coal into a combustible gas with a high proportion of hydrogen, a company spokesman said. With the gasification system added to the existing 500 megawatt (MW) power plant, the 40-year-old plant will improve its efficiency by 5 percentage points to 46% and reduce CO2 emissions by 11% from the current level, he said.

[Yuka Obayashi]

More: J-Power scraps plan for new coal-fired power plant in western Japan

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