Chiba power station

From Global Energy Monitor

Chiba power station was a proposed 2,000-megawatt (MW) coal plant in Chiba Prefecture, Japan.


The map below shows the city of Sodegaura, the approximate location where the plant would be built.

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Kyushu Electric Power, Idemitsu Kosan Company, and Tokyo Gas have proposed a 2,000 MW thermal power station in Chiba Prefecture.[1][2]

In March 2015 the trio of companies said they will jointly set up a special purpose company for the project, tentatively called Chiba Sodegaura Power Co., to begin the feasibility study. The planned facility will stand near Idemitsu’s base for coal imports. The three firms expect to invest a total of ¥400 billion to ¥500 billion. They aim to put the power plant into operation in the mid-2020s.[3] In July 2015, the Ministry rejected Chiba-Sodegaura's 2,000 MW project in Chiba.[4]

In July 2016 it was reported that the sponsors were still seeking EIA approval.[5]

Public Opposition

In June 2015 Chiba was one of three planned plants from which Environment Minister Yoshio Mochizuki withheld approval "at this point," saying his ministry cannot approve their construction unless the power industry comes up with concrete plans to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.[6] The other two plants were the Taketoyo plant in Aichi Prefecture, and the Ube plant in Yamaguchi Prefecture.[6] According to a September 2015 editorial in The Japan Times: "Japan’s pledge on its climate change efforts calls for reducing its greenhouse gas emissions in 2030 by 26 percent from its 2013 levels. But the Environment Ministry estimates that, if all of the coal-fired plants being planned are built, and then would be in operation for decades to come, Japan will likely miss its emissions reduction target by 60 million tons in 2030.[6]

On September 7, 2017, about 50 protestors voiced their oppositions to the construction of the Chiba Sodegaura coal plant. Protestors do not want the smog from the coal plant to pollute the air and harm the nearby residents. The protestors started protesting at Idemitsu, before travelling to the Tokyo Gas LNG terminal, where students, mothers, and young children joined the protestors in action.[7]

On March 19, 2018, a seminar about “What will happen to air pollution due to the construction of the Chiba power plant in Tokyo Bay” was held at the Chiba Prefectural Education Center. Lauri Myllyvirta from the Greenpeace International Coal and Air Pollution Sector was invited to discuss her research against the construction of the Chiba plant.[8]

On November 5, 2018, a map showing the health risks of the Chiba power plant and other Tokyo Bay coal plants was released to the public to build awareness and opposition against the construction of the plants. The map was created by the Tokyo Bay Association, a group of citizens against coal plants in Tokyo Bay, such as the Chiba plant.[9]

On February 17, 2019, the Tokyo Bay Association held a gathering against the construction of the Chiba coal plant. The gathering discussed how the construction of the plant would affect citizens and the natural environment.[10]

Project scrapped

In April 2018, Tokyo Gas announced the company will delay until at least March 2020 consideration of the proposed 2000 MW Chiba coal plant in Sodegaura due to opposition by residents and concerns about climate change expressed by the Kiko Network and Friends of the Earth Japan.[11]

In July 2018 the Kiko Network flagged that the plant was undergoing its first EIA screening and was scheduled for completion in 2025-2026.[12][13]

In August 2018 Nikkei Asian Review reported Chiba's project sponsors were considering using liquefied natural gas at the plant instead, balancing concerns over coal's heavier greenhouse gas emissions against the higher long-term costs of gas.[14]

In January 2019 Tokyo Gas’s President and CEO, Takashi Uchida, said the company will decide by the end of March whether it intends to push ahead with the proposed Chiba coal plant. Uchida said if it and its joint venture partners Kyushu Electric Power and Idemitsu Kosan decided against coal, they would propose a LNG-fuelled plant instead.[15]

Shortly after this the company confirmed that it had scapped the proposed project and would instead consider building a LNG-fired plant at the site.[16]

In a media release on the decision to cancel the project Tokyo Gas stated that "the project sponsors have concluded that the project cannot yield initially expected investment returns and thus agreed to cancel further feasibility studies of a coal-fired thermal power."[17]

The company stated that two of the three consortium partners in the original coal-fired project - Kyuden and Tokyo Gas - "have decided to continue a feasibility study of a LNG-fired thermal powerplant, aiming to construct a combined-cycle power stationat the samelocationin Sodegaura City, Chiba Prefecture."[17] Idemitsu, which owns the site of the proposed power plant, was part of the consortium investing the coal plant but is not involved in the joint venture for the LNG plant.

Project Details

  • Sponsor: Idemitsu Kosan, Kyushu Electric Power, Tokyo Gas
  • Parent Company: Kyushu Electric Power, Idemitsu Kosan Company, and Tokyo Gas
  • Location: Sodegaura city, Chiba Prefecture, Japan
  • Coordinates: 35.433333, 139.973635 (approximate)
  • Status: Cancelled
  • Capacity: 2,000 MW (Units 1 & 2: 1,000MW)
  • Type: Ultra-supercritical
  • Start date:
  • Coal Type:
  • Coal Source: Imported
  • Source of financing:

Articles and Resources


  1. “Operation and Construction Plans of Coal-Fired Thermal Plants in Japan,” Kiko Network, 17 October 2014
  2. "Construction plans for Japan's coal power stations," Reuters, Dec 11, 2014
  3. "Kyushu Electric, Tokyo Gas, Idemitsu eye Chiba power plant," The Japan News, Mar 28, 2015
  4. "Chubu Electric's 1GW Taketoyo coal project questioned," Asian Power, Aug 1, 2017
  5. "「(仮称)千葉袖ケ浦火力発電所1,2号機建設計画 環境影響評価方法書」に対する 経済産業大臣通知の受領について," 株式会社 千葉袖ケ浦エナジー, July 4, 2016
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Misplaced emphasis on coal, The Japan Times, September 27, 2015.
  7. "Appeal against construction opposite in front of Idemitsu Coal Research Institute," Tokyo Bay, translated by Google, 8 Sep. 2017
  8. "Chiba Seminar," Tokyo Bay, translated by Google, 12 Mar. 2018
  9. "We have created a fllyer for the Tokyo Bay Coal Fired Power Plant Planning Map!" Tokyo Bay, translated by Google, 5 Nov. 2018
  10. "Sodeguara Seminar," Tokyo Bay, translated by Google, 7 Jan. 2019
  11. "石炭火力「慎重に」 東ガス新社長が明言," Nikkei, 2018/4/3
  12. Chiba Sodeguara No.1, Kiko Network, accessed July 2018
  13. Chiba Sodeguara No.2, Kiko Network, accessed July 2018
  14. "Tokyo-area coal plant developers consider switch to LNG," Nikkei Asian Review, August 10, 2018
  15. Yuka Obayashi, "Tokyo Gas CEO says to step up overseas LNG investment", Reuters, January 30, 2019.
  16. "Japan's Idemitsu, Kyushu Elec, Tokyo Gas scrap coal-fired power plant plan", Reuters, January 31, 2019.
  17. 17.0 17.1 "Changes in the Thermal Power Plant Project in Sodegaura City, Chiba Prefecture", Media Release, January 31, 2019.

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