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EIA work starts for geothermal project at Oyasu, Akita Prefecture, Japan

Short-term flow tests of exploratory well, Akita Prefecture, Japan (source: INPEX)
Alexander Richter 10 Dec 2018

The consortium around Idemitsu Kosan Co.,Ltd. , INPEX Corp. , and Mitsui Oil Exploration Co., Ltd. announces the start of work on the environmental impact assessment process as a step toward full implementation of the geothermal project at Oyasu, Akita Prefecture, Japan.

Since 2011, Idemitsu Kosan Co.,Ltd. , INPEX Corp. , and Mitsui Oil Exploration Co., Ltd. have been using a support program provided by the Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC), in order to carry out a joint exploration for geothermal energy development in the Oyasu District of Yuzawa City, Akita Prefecture. On December 7, 2018, this project sent “Strategic Environmental Assessment Note” to the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, the Governor of Akita Prefecture, and the Mayor of Yuzawa City, and it plans to begin the environmental impact assessment process as a step toward full implementation of the project.

Geothermal energy is attracting attention as a renewable energy source capable of delivering stable supplies of electricity unaffected by the weather. In response to deregulations on geothermal energy development inside national and quasi-national parks after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and the adoption of a feed-in tariff (FIT) system for renewable energy, geothermal energy exploration and development have advanced in various locations across Japan.

In the Oyasu District of Yuzawa City, Akita Prefecture, the three companies named above with expertise in areas such as exploration of  underground resources, drilling wells, and supplying geothermal steam, have carried out joint studies for commercialization of geothermal energy production, through activities such as evaluation of geothermal resources—including flow test—as well as economic assessments.

Based on the results of these studies, we have established “Oyasu Geothermal Co., Ltd.”, a plan has been formulated to construct a new geothermal power plant, intended to advance full commercialization of this project. Pursuant to the Environmental Assessment Act, “Strategic Environmental Assessment Note” on the construction of Katatsumuri-Yama Power Plant (Tentative Name) has been sent to the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, the Governor of Akita Prefecture, and the Mayor of Yuzawa City, and the environmental impact assessment process is slated to begin. Future plans call for proceeding with studies on construction of a geothermal power plant in the Oyasu District of Yuzawa City, Akita Prefecture, aiming to begin commercial operation in 2024, in order to contribute to reducing carbon-dioxide emissions and securing stable supplies of electricity.

Overview of the plans for the geothermal power plant

  1. Company name : Oyasu Geothermal Co., Ltd.
  2. Address : 1-1 Marunouchi 3-chome, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
  3. Representative : Hiroki Goto
  4. Name of power plant : Katatsumuri-Yama Power Plant (Tentative Name)
  5. Power generating capacity : 15,000 kW class
  6. Construction site : Inside the Okuyama National Forest, Oyasu and Aza-Toriya districts of Minase, Yuzawa City, Akita Prefecture
  7. Start Construction : 2021 (planned)
  8. Start Operation : 2024 (planned)

For details of the Note as of the planning stage and other matters, visit the website of Oyasu Geothermal Co., Ltd. at:
http://www.oyasu-geothermal.com (attention: currently not working)

Source: Company release