Japan’s Chubu begins trial operations of new gas-fired unit

Japan’s third-biggest utility Chubu Electric Power Co said its new Joetsu 1-1 gas-fired unit, with capacity of 595 MW, began trial operations on Thursday, sending electricity to the grid, Reuters reports.

Commercial operations of the state-of-the-art combined-cycle unit are scheduled in July 2012.

The company has been accelerating the development of new fossil-fuelled units after it shut its sole Hamaoka nuclear plant in May at the prime minister’s request amid concerns it could be hit by an earthquake.

Three more units at the plant, each capable of producing 595 MW, are slated to enter commercial operations by May 2014.

The Nagoya-based utility expects to reduce its carbon dioxide emission by 1.6 million metric tons a year after the all four units become operational.

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