PROJECT | Staff Reporter, Japan

Japan's LNG buyer JERA becomes major electricity generator

It has assumed control of its two shareholders’ fossil fuel power stations, boosting its domestic capacity by 68GW.

Japan’s JERA joint venture (JV), which is said to be the world’s largest buyer of liquified natural gas owned by Tokyo Electric Power and Chubu Electric Power, became a major electricity generator following the formal takeover of power stations owned by its two shareholders, a report by Reuters revealed.

It has now assumed control of their fossil fuel power stations, giving it 68GW of mostly gas and coal-fired power generation capacity domestically, nearly half the country’s power generation, as well as 9GW overseas.

Japan’s government forced through more competition in the country’s highly regionalised $130b power market in the wake of the Fukushima meltdowns by allowing new entrants, encouraging renewables and supporting market trading of power.

JERA, with assets of $36b (JPY4t), will control all aspects of the supply chain for power generation, including stakes in LNG projects, ships and an international fuel trading operation.

It also plans to build one of the world’s biggest hydrogen stations in Tokyo by mid-2020, supplying fuel cell vehicles and fuel cell buses.

The integration of the fossil fuel plants is the last of a three-step plan for JERA, which currently buys about 35 million tonnes of LNG annually, and also handles upstream energy assets and overseas power generation for its shareholders.

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