According to the media coverage on September 25th, the Kansai Electric Power Company (Kanden) and a subsidiary company of Itochu are jointly planning to construct a new coal-fired power plant in Sendai city.
According to this report, they will start construction in the autumn of 2015, and the planned project, with a capacity of 112MW, is expected to start operations in autumn 2017.
Kanden plans to sell generated electricity to corporations and households in Eastern Japan, including the Greater Tokyo area, while Itochu is going to focus on corporations as its target customers.
On the 26th at a regular press conference, the president of Kanden, Yagi Makoto, confirmed this plan, saying “we are heading in that direction”, though he did not answer questions regarding target clients to supply electricity to, due to the confidentiality of their operational strategies.
The reason that it only takes three years from initial planning to operations is the small capacity of the equipment, which allows the project to bypass environmental assessment.
According to the «Environmental Impact Assessment Law», environmental assessment is compulsory for any coal-fired power plant project with a capacity over 150MW, while in the case of a project of 112.5～150MW, such a requirement varies according to the respective situation.
The scale of the aforementioned project is slightly smaller than the legal threshold.
We could not help suspecting the intention of bypassing the assessment in planning it.
This project might be completed in a short time, without any warning to citizens about its environmental impacts or investigation.
No matter what the scale, it is still a coal-fired power plant.
It will emit a lot of carbon dioxide and contribute to climate change.
Therefore it is not the sort of power plant that should be constructed.
We believe that the Kansai Electric Power Company and Itochu should withdraw from this project.