The New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization and other organizations said Thursday they have started construction of what will be one of the world’s largest hydrogen plants in Fukushima Prefecture.

The other members of the project are Toshiba Corp.’s Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corp. unit, Tohoku Electric Power Co. and Iwatani Corp.

Hydrogen generated at the plant in the town of Namie will be used for fuel-cell vehicles and other purposes during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

The plant will use up to 10,000 kilowatts of power generated from sunlight and other sources to extract up to 900 tons of hydrogen each year from water for storage and supply.

Test operations will start by July 2020 to check and examine technological issues.

Fukushima Gov. Masao Uchibori said the plant will be an important foothold to display progress in his prefecture’s reconstruction following the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident.

“We’ll continue efforts so that hydrogen can be used in a wide variety of fields starting from the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics,” he said.

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