Osaka Gas eyes Tepco thermal plant renovation


Osaka Gas Co. is eager to capitalize on the expected renovation of Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s old gas-fired power facilities in the Tokyo Bay area, President Hiroshi Ozaki said in a recent interview.

Because the facilities are aging, they will need to be renovated or even replaced, Ozaki said in pointing to the business opportunity for his company, which has unveiled plans to strengthen its electricity sales in the Tokyo metropolitan area.

“We reaped bigger profits than expected in our existing thermal power generation business as the operations of most nuclear power plants in Japan have been suspended” due to the Fukushima crisis, Ozaki said. “We’re ready to invest more.”

Regarding deals with companies other than Tepco, Ozaki said, “We’re flexible about whether to go it alone or team up with others.”

Currently, Osaka Gas has power generation facilities capable of producing a total of 1.8 million kw, mainly in western Japan, and 1.4 million kw abroad. The company has set a goal to nearly double the combined capacity to 6 million kw in 2020.

Turning to its mainstay gas business, Ozaki said the company aims to boost sales by utilizing its new gas pipeline in western Japan, to be completed next year, to encourage factories that currently use oil to switch to gas.

Ozaki said he hopes the government will advance discussions about building more pipelines.