CSR Information

Opening Future Avenues to Wood Biomass Power Generation

The development and promotion of renewable and clean energy is a social issue that should be addressed worldwide.
The Sumitomo Forestry Group participates in the wood biomass power generation business by utilizing its know-how in businesses centered upon wood, which is a renewable resource. This endeavor will contribute to solving this social issue while expanding the applications for wood and increasing its asset value.

Social Trends in Renewable Energy

The adoption of renewable energy is furthering in each country worldwide from such perspectives as the future depletion of fossil fuels, concerns about higher prices and the reduction of CO2 emissions, which is a global challenge. However, the adoption rate of renewable energy in Japan is roughly 11% (FY2013 results), which is low compared to other major developed nations.

Government of Japan announced the long‐term energy supply‐demand outlook (energy mix) in 2015 against the backdrop of these circumstances. The ratio of renewable energy is forecast to increase to approximately 22% to 24% by 2030 and further market growth is predicted in the same field. Wood biomass power generation is gaining attention as a base electricity source with its stable power supply compared to other types of renewable energy.

Long‐term energy supply‐demand outlook
Long‐term energy supply‐demand outlook
(Source: Materials from The Agency for Natural Resources and Energy
in the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry)

Initiatives in the Wood Biomass Power Generation Business Leveraging the Strength of the Group

The strength of the Sumitomo Forestry Group is the ability to provide a stable supply of fuel such as crude wood and wood chips indispensable in the biomass power generation business by taking advantage of the cargo and distribution network of its existing forestry as well as timber and building materials businesses.

For example, the Kawasaki Biomass Power Generation Plant that began operation in 2011 uses recycled wood chips produced from scrap wood from housing construction and scarp pallets collected in the Kanto area as its primary fuel. The Mombetsu Biomass Power Generation Plant which started operation in 2016 has gained the cooperation of parties engaged in the local forest industry and municipalities and uses unused forest materials collected in the Okhotsk region as its primary biomass fuel.

Flow for supply of biomass fuels at the Mombetsu Biomass Power Generation Plant Flow for supply of biomass fuels at the Mombetsu Biomass Power Plant

Building a 200MW System - Starting Operations at the Mombetsu Biomass Power Generation Plant

The Sumitomo Forestry Group aims to expand the renewable energy business primarily in the wood biomass power generation business to a scale of 200 MW by 2019. One of the pillars to achieving this target is the Mombetsu Biomass Power Generation Plant. An affiliate company of the Sumitomo Forestry Group with an equity interest of 51%, this power plant is a 50MW large-scale biomass power generation facility, which is the largest biomass power generation plant investment of the Group.

In addition, this power plant uses unused wood resource from the Okhotsk region as its primary fuel and it is the first forest based type of power generation facility for the Sumitomo Forestry Group. The Group owns forests in the Okhotsk land rich with forest resources and the profit is cycled back into the forest and the region. We are aiming for a circulation-type power generation business able to have a prosperous coexistence in the region.

the Mombetsu Biomass Power Plant
the Mombetsu Biomass Power Plant
the Mombetsu Biomass Power Plant

Aiming to Further Accelerate the Biomass Power Generation Business

The Sumitomo Forestry Group aims to start operations of the Hachinohe Biomass Power Generation Plant (12.4MW) in April 2018 in addition to the Kawasaki Biomass Power Generation Plant (33MW), the Mombetsu Biomass Power Generation Plant (50MW) and the Tomakomai Biomass Power Generation Plant (5.9MW) already in operation. Total scale of power generation is already 100MW with these capital participation in wood biomass power generation plants.

We will further our investment in the future. In May 2016, Sumitomo Forestry Group invested in Renova, Inc., which develops and operates renewable energy power generation plants, while also entering into an operational partnership agreement. Renova has experience in the development of our power generation plant in addition to a proven track record in a total of more than 1,000 cases of environmental consulting. The company also possesses a wide range of knowledge and a vast network related to the development of the renewable energy business. The Sumitomo Forestry Group actively promotes various renewable energy businesses now and in the future that include wood biomass power generation through these kinds of initiatives.

Aiming to Further Accelerate the Biomass Power Generation Business

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CSR Report2017