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Industry News

Enron Planning Kyushu Coal-Fired Plant

LCG, Aug. 17, 2000--Enron Corp. is planning to build a coal-fired power plant near Omuta on the southwestern Japanese island of Kyushu, the Kyodo news service reported this morning.

Owning its own generating facilities would allow the U.S. company to market power in the increasingly open Japanese market without dealing with one of Japans 10 electric utilities. No size was given for the plant, but Kyodo speculated that it would be in the 100 megawatt range, small for Enron.

Non-utility power producers have been allowed to market electricity to large industrial and commercial customers since March.

Enron would pursue development of the plant through its Tokyo-based affiliate E Power Corp. but sources in Japan said it would be a long row to hoe. The project would be unlikely to begin until completion of "necessary procedures" such as land purchases, environmental hearings and obstructionist red tape common to foreign undertakings in Japan.

The sources said the process could take three to five years just to get approval of the project.

Kyodo said it inquired of E Power about the location of the plant. "No final candidate for the plants location has been picked yet as surveys are being conducted from Hokkaido to Kyushu," an E Power official said.

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