Friday, January 4, 2013

Japanese Corporations Seek To Profit from Renewable Energy Generation

TOKYO -- Oji Holdings Corp., the world's largest corporate user of renewable energy, plans to sell clean power in Japan to take advantage of government subsidies and counter a sales slide in mainstay paper products.

Oji, the second-biggest paper producer by revenue, plans to spend 20 billion yen ($234 million) to build two so-called biomass power plants fuelled by wood on the northern island of Hokkaido and the southern island of Kyushu, Shoji Fujiwara, chairman of Oji Green Resources Co., said in an interview.

It plans to start selling electricity from the units in about three years as part of a 60 billion yen investment in renewable energy, including solar, geothermal and hydro. Oji joins companies such as mobile phone provider Softbank Corp. to battery maker GS Yuasa Corp. in renewable energy investment after the government incentive program started on July 1 to help cut reliance on atomic power after last year’s Fukushima nuclear disaster.

“So far renewable energy has been used internally, but we intend to aggressively promote sales from now on,” Fujiwara said in the interview. “We have a long history of biomass power generation and own the operation technology and see this as an advantage.”

Potential customers for power from the two plants would include Kyushu Electric Power Co. and Hokkaido Electric Power Co., with potential sales of 2 billion yen a year to each utility, Fujiwara said.

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