IGCC plant to supply power to Fukushima

Banpu Power Plc’s (BPP) newly acquired power plant in Japan’s Fukushima Prefecture has started supplying electricity to Fukushima and parts of the Tokyo metropolitan area as the firm expects to earn revenue in the second quarter.

The power generation arm of non-oil energy conglomerate Banpu acquired 2.5 billion baht’s worth of shares in Nakoso IGCC Management (Nimco), which owns the 543-megawatt Nakoso IGCC power plant.

BPP, which invested through its wholly-owned Banpu Power Investment Co, now owns a 13.4% share in the Nakoso IGCC power plant. This acquisition has added 73MW of power generation capacity to BPP’s portfolio, calculated on its equity-based ownership.

The Nakoso IGCC is equipped with environmentally-friendly integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) technology.

Though it is a gas-fired power plant, the facility uses a gasifier to turn coal into gas as fuel, said BPP chief executive Kirana Limpaphayom.

The company reported yesterday its commercial operation date as April 16 to the Stock Exchange of Thailand.

IGCC technology will enable Nakoso IGCC to generate more power per tonne of coal with low emissions.

The plant is the largest commercial-scale of IGCC technology in Japan, said Mr Kirana.

Under a long-term power purchase agreement, electricity from the plant will be supplied through a high voltage transmission system to both industrial and residential areas in Fukushima.

The power supply will also cover the Greater Tokyo Area.

The plant is also part of a community development programme to increase local employment and boost the local economy.

BPP is eyeing rapid growth by acquiring more assets in Asia and the US. Several deals are currently in the due diligence process before a final investment decision is made.

Banpu has implemented a sustainable growth strategy to achieve a power generation capacity target of 6,100MW by 2025.

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