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Mitsubishi Materials exploring geothermal options in Japan

Matsukawa Geothermal Power Plant, Iwate, Japan
Alexander Richter 18 Jul 2010

Mitsubishi Materials Corp. and JX Group Holdings Inc. are seeking resources to install new geothermal power plants in Japan in the prefectures of Akita, Iwate, Aomori and Hokkaido.

“Mitsubishi Materials Corp. and JX Group Holdings Inc. are seeking resources to install new geothermal power plants in Japan.”, so news from Japan.

This seems to be in line with other news of this spring of J-Power and other firms joining for development in Japan.

“Mitsubishi Materials will start a survey in Kazuno in Akita Prefecture in Japan, were there are already two geothermal power plants in operation today, but also in the neighboring prefectures of Iwate, Aomori and Hokkaido during the financial year.

At the same time, JX Nippon Mining & Metals Corp, will research a site at Sapporo.

As it would be required to drill deep to carry out necessary feasibility studies and simultaneously pursue negotiations with local governments and shareholders, it is assumed that it will take at least 10 years to reach operational capability of any planned geothermal power plant.

The long lead times and high capital costs explain in part why Japan has so far not been able to reach set targets for geothermal energy capacity.

The potential of geothermal resources is estimated at around 20,000 MW capacity (20 GW). So far only 536 MW of geothermal power generation capacity are installed and operating in Japan and no concrete numbers of planned projects are available.

Article on the Status and Prospects of geothermal energy in Japan via Japan for Sustainability

Source: Il Sole 24 Ore (in Italian)