The operator of Japan’s wrecked nuclear plant and three firms from the Mitsubishi group plan to build a new type of energy-efficient coal-fired power plant in Fukushima, a source said on Saturday.
Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) will tie up with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Mitsubishi Corp and Mitsubishi Electric to construct integrated gasification combined-cycle (IGCC) stations at the site.
Mitsubishi group companies will have a majority of stake in the new plants while cash-strapped Tepco will be in charge of running the facilities, which they plan to put online around 2020, the source said.
Tepco has been under pressure to introduce energy-efficient facilities as all of its nuclear power plants have been closed since the Fukushima disaster, with no immediate prospects of restarting any nuclear power generation given the level of public distrust.
Mitsubishi Heavy also aims to be a leading player in the new IGCC technology, which will increase power output by 20 per cent from conventional coal plants, using the same amount of fuel.
Three reactors suffered core meltdowns at the Fukushima plant north of Tokyo after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that triggered explosions and forced the evacuation of 160,000 people from nearby towns and villages.