Its collaboration with Chubu Electric Power will allow it to supply energy to Asia and conduct knowledge transfer, skills training, and contingency planning.
Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), which supplies power and electricity in the capital of Japan is looking to venture regionally and globally by offering their expertise and pioneering technology to countries needing to meet their growing energy demands. “We are now shifting from the traditional asset business related to thermal power generation,” said Toshiro Kume, Managing Director of TEPCO Fuel & Power, Inc.(TEPCO F&P) “We are making use of our know-how and capability and provide that to other power generation companies in Southeast Asia, which makes the availability and heat efficiency in a very good manner in those companies.”
Apart from providing equipment and technology to these companies, TEPCO F&P also plans to conduct knowledge transfer, skills training, and contingency planning for experts and officials of these countries with an eye for operational sustainability. Some of the salient pain points of the energy sector in parts of Asia are the reliability and availability of power plants due to operational anomalies and quality equipment.
“The traditional objective for TEPCO F&P was to make our power plants run in a stable manner. The same objective applies to the old [independent power producers], especially in the Southeast Asian markets,” Kume said. “I think it’s a top priority for top IPP companies to have their power plants running [well]. In terms of the availability issue, we are very much good at that. We would like to provide services through our capability of maintaining a very high class OEM management.”
In April this year, TEPCO F&P through JERA (a loose adoption of the company’s motto: “Japan’s Energy for a New Era”), announced their plans to invest $935m in power generation projects in the United States by 2030. This planned investment is expected to contribute to the venture’s current capacity in North America, which stands at about 3,000MW. This includes five US natural gas-fired power plants as part of the Tenaska Gas Thermal IPP Project.
These moves point towards TEPCO F&P’s aim to expand its plant solution service business globally, with a goal of “pursuing various overseas power generation and investment projects, with the aim of achieving new growth and development by promoting business opportunities abroad.” This aim also covers JERA’s countries of operation such as the Netherlands, Qatar, India, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Thailand, Taiwan, Singapore, Mexico, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Indonesia.
This comes after TEPCO F&P and Chubu Electric Power Co., another major power utility supplying energy in the central parts of the country, announced their decision to further integrate 25 of their fossil fuel-fired power plants and other assets including various liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals to their 2015 joint venture JERA Co., Inc., the decision forms part of continuous efforts from two of the biggest energy companies in Japan to expand globally.
The move, according to reports, will provide JERA a power generation capacity of about 66.4GW, or nearly half of Japan’s total capacity. “We think it’s very important to have the strategy globally; that means we have to compete with other big players in the global market,” said Kume. “Our capability is currently at 90 power units. To be honest, that’s not big enough to compete in the power market globally but making an alliance with Chubu means the power plants we own are at 135 [units]. So that means we have a very big capability for the business related to power generation.”
The TEPCO F&P official added that JERA, which aims to become one of the world’s leading energy firms, currently covers the whole body of thermal power generation businesses with the company having investments in gas fields as well as fuel trading with their operations in Singapore. JERA’s foreign power generation operations started in July 2016. “We also have the actual generation facility.We have invested in various power plants around the world, so that means we are big enough to compete with other players globally,” he said.
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