New wood biomass power plant to be built in Japan

In Japan, Sumitomo Corp., a power producer and supplier, has announced plans to build a 50MW biomass-fired power plant in Sakata City, Yamagata Prefecture through its wholly owned subsidiary Summit Energy Corp. The plant will become a new source of power supply for Summit Energy's electric power retail business.

The Sakata biomass power plant will be built in the Sakata Rinkai Industrial Park located adjacent to the Port of Sakata and will be operated by Summit Sakata Power, a company established in December 2012 and wholly owned by Summit Energy. The total project costs are expected to be about JPY25 billion (€184.6 million). Construction work will start in June next year and the plant is scheduled to be put into commercial operation in May 2018.

This 50MW biomass power plant will be one of the largest in the Tohoku region. Biomass fuels will be procured through Sumitomo's materials, supplies and real estate division, which has experience in handling Japanese woodchips, imported wood pellets, and other renewable fuels. It is planned that fuels will be procured not just from local sources—such as unused wood materials and timber off-cuts from within and around Yamagata Prefecture, an area with abundant forest resources—but also from overseas sources as well.

The Sakata biomass plant joins Summit Energy's existing renewables portfolio – the 50MW Itoigawa biomass plant, which went into commercial operation in January 2005, and the 75MW Handa biomass power plant, which is slated to start commercial operation by June 2017 – making it one of the largest biomass power plant owners and operators in Japan.

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