Japanese paper mill Nippon Paper and trading house Sojitz started commercial operations of the 75MW Yufutsu biomass-fired power generation plant on 2 February in Japan's northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido, taking advantage of Nippon Paper's biomass supply chain.
The Yufutsu power plant, which is 51pc owned by Nippon Paper and the rest by Sojitz, consumes undisclosed volumes of imported wood chips and palm kernel shells (PKS), as well as unused wood material collected within Hokkaido. All electricity produced at the site will be sold to Hokkaido Electric Power Network over 20 years under Japan's feed-in-tariff scheme.
Nippon Paper also operates the 149MW Ishinomaki Hibarino biomass power plant in northeast Japan's Miyagi prefecture and the 6MW Yatsushiro biomass power plant in south Japan's Kumamoto prefecture. It has also carried out environmental assessments for a proposed 112MW biomass power project at Iwakuni in southwest Japan's Yamaguchi prefecture but declined to disclose its progress.
Japan imported 2.9mn t of PKS in 2022, up by 14pc from 2021, according to the finance ministry.