Nippon Paper aims to increase sales, capacity of electricity generated by biomass boilers at its mills in Japan, taking advantage of new policy that sets prices for renewable energy; Oji Paper, Daio Paper have similar plans

LOS ANGELES , August 21, 2012 () –

Japan's Nippon Paper Group Inc. plans to boost the capacity and sales of the biomass-based power it generates in its papermaking operations, reported The Asahi Shimbun AJW on Aug. 21.

Such a strategy is supported by the Japanese government’s new policy setting prices for renewable energy, and generating more electricity for the grid would utilize forest resources at a time when paper demand is declining.

In July, Nippon Paper became a full-scale producer of electricity by establishing an energy business after having obtained a license in May to be an energy generator and supplier permitted to sell power to large-lot users, the online newspaper reported.

Other Japanese paper producers plan similar moves with power generation to take advantage of Japan’s new policy and to help offset lagging paper sales.

Oji Paper Co.’s Kushiro operation in Hokkaido is expected to start selling its extra electricity next month, while the company plans an overhaul of six hydroelectric power plants that supply electricity to its paper mills in Hokkaido, Japan.

From the Mishima paper complex in Ehime Prefecture, Daio Paper Corp. has doubled the energy it sells to Shikoku Electric Power Co., The Asahi Shimbun AJW reported via

Nippon Paper plans to boost its total annual electric output in Japan and overseas by about 500 gigawatt hours. In February, its Daishowa-Marubeni International Ltd. unit in Canada began biomass power generation, and the same is planned for its Nippon Paper Industries USA Co. starting in April.

The company also might add a biomass power operation at one of its facilities in Japan’s Tohoku region. Now, only its Kushiro mill in Hokkaido sells power on a full-scale basis, with total electricity sales of 18 billion yen (US$227 million) in fiscal year 2011, reported The Asahi Shimbun AJW.

Nippon Paper has biomass boilers at 12 paper mills and generates about 1.7 gigawatts of electricity using biomass, coal and other types of boilers. The company’s total power-generating capacity is close to the top among Japanese power generators.

Japan’s second largest paper company, Nippon Paper is also the country’s No. 2 private forest owner, with some 900 square kilometers (559 square miles) of forests, The Asahi Shimbun AJW reported.

The primary source of this article is The Asahi Shimbun AJW, Tokyo, Japan, on Aug. 21, 2012.


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