【News】GENESIS Matsushima Project Emerges, Citizens Take Action!
On September 28, 2021, Japan Power Development Corporation (J-POWER) began Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) procedures for the GENESIS Matsushima project, which will add a new coal gasification facility to the existing Matsushima Thermal Power Plant in Saikai City, Nagasaki Prefecture.
Operating for over 40 years, Matsushima Thermal Power Plant is one of the oldest coal-fired power plants in Japan. J-POWER has submitted the “Document on Primary Environmental Impact Consideration” to the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, the Governor of Nagasaki Prefecture, and the Mayor of Saikai City for public scrutiny.
A call for opinions and comments against this EIA is now open until October 29.
The GENESIS Matsushima project will put a coal gasification power facility onto Unit 2, one of the two existing 500 MW supercritical (SC) coal-fired power units, which began operation in 1981. This plan will continue using old coal power plants with “upcycling” – meaning that, even if the efficiency is slightly improved, the power plant will continue to burn coal and emit large amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere.
According to the plan, J-Power will begin construction in FY2024 and start operation in FY2026. If this project is completed, it is certain the Matsushima Thermal Power Plant will continue to operate past 2030, locking in CO2 emissions for a very long time.
By advancing this project, J-POWER aims to establish the commercialization of new technology that adds gasification facilities to existing power plants, and then eventually use hydrogen and ammonia in power generation in the future. It is also working on the realization of carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS). These “innovative technologies” are stated in J-POWER’s “BLUE MISSION 2050,” announced in February 2021.
However, using these uncertain technologies – for which there is no prospect of practical commercial use – as an excuse to preserve coal-fired power generation will only lead to further long-term CO2 emissions and widen the gap to the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C target. The GENESIS Matsushima project is a huge step backwards for Japan in a world that is increasingly moving to decarbonize. Additionally, this project has a high risk of becoming a stranded asset in the future.
Unfortunately, all EIA documents are written in Japanese only, and there is no detailed information about the GENESIS Matsushima project in English other than what has been provided by J-POWER:
- J-POWER Starts Preparation for Environmental Impact Assessment of GENESIS Matsushima Plan Aiming for Realizing a Carbon-Neutral and Hydrogen Society (PDF)
- J-POWER Blue Mission 2050
All are welcome to send public comments about the GENESIS Matsushima project to J-POWER.
However, because J-POWER will only accept Japanese submissions on their designated form posted by mail, Japan Beyond Coal will translate and send English submissions to J-POWER from the following form by October 27:
Please fill in all boxes, including your name and contact address, even it is not in Japan, as this is required according to EIA public comment procedures.
Due Date: October 27
We urge many people to submit opinions and comments and demand J-POWER stop this project!
Thank you for your cooperation.