Japan To Help Build New Coal Power Plants In Eastern Europe

  • Date: 28/04/14
  • The Yomiuri Shimbun

Japan’s government plans to support Ukraine and other Eastern European nations in the construction of next-generation coal-fired power plants that can generate power with less fuel, according to informed sources.

Under the initiative, Japan would stand behind the nations’ efforts to use coal—abundant in Eastern Europe—instead of natural gas, the supply of which makes them dependent on Russia. The government is expected to announce the initiative at the meeting of energy ministers from Japan and other Group of Seven industrialized nations to be held in Rome from May 5.

Japan’s support will involve the construction of coal-fired power plants using technologies known as supercritical steam pressure and ultra supercritical pressure to spin the turbines, enabling these nations to obtain electricity while using less fuel and emitting less carbon dioxide.

With a power generation efficiency of 40 percent to 43 percent, Japan has the world’s most advanced technologies in this field. About one-fourth of the coal-fired power plants in the nation use these technologies.

In comparison, Germany has a power generation efficiency of about 38 percent, while the corresponding figures for Ukraine and other Eastern European nations apparently remain at the 30 percent levels.

If an agreement is reached with Ukraine, Japan will support a feasibility study to rebuild power plants during the current fiscal year. Under the initiative, Japan will provide yen loans to cover several tens of billions of yen in construction costs in addition to its energy-saving technologies, while Ukraine will provide emission quotas for greenhouse gases to Japan under their bilateral framework.

The G-7 meeting of energy ministers will discuss policies to raise the energy self-sufficiency rates of Ukraine and other European nations, as well as diversifying their energy supplies with one goal in mind: lowering their dependency on natural gas and oil from Russia.