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Japan’s Iitate biomass plant to start commercial operations in mid-July

A 7.5MW biomass plant in Iitate village, Fukushima prefecture, Japan, has completed construction and is set to begin commercial operations in mid-July, the operating company announced.

The biomass facility will utilize 95,000 tons per year of unused wood and wood bark sourced from various areas in Fukushima prefecture, including those affected by the 2011 nuclear disaster. These biomass materials may contain radioactive substances, so the unit is equipped with double filters and will continuously monitor exhaust gas for radioactive materials.

Under Japan’s feed-in-tariff scheme, the company will sell the electricity generated for 20 years, with plans to explore continued commercial operations thereafter. The total project cost amounts to $62 million, with $34 million received from the Japanese government’s subsidy program aimed at promoting power plant construction in Fukushima as part of revitalization efforts. Construction of the Iitate plant commenced in August 2022.

Operated by the joint venture Iitate Bio Partners, the plant’s ownership structure includes Japanese utility Tokyo Electric Power owning a 40% stake, while construction company Kumagai-Gumi, developer Kobelco Eco-Solution, and Tokyo Power Technology each hold a 20% share. Tokyo Power Technology, a subsidiary of Tokyo Electric Power, is located approximately 40 kilometers from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

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