(EnergyAsia, March 14 2014, Friday) — Japan will look to coal to generate more of its electricity as three large industrial groups plan to build large plants using the fuel by the end of the decade.

Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) and the Mitsubishi group have begun work on jointly developing and building a new generation of coal-fired power plants in Fukushima near the site of the nuclear power plant that was disabled in the March 2011 earthquake-tsunami.

The plant will operate on the gasification combined cycle technology of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to produce more power using less energy while producing less emissions compared with conventional coal-fired plants.

Separately, Tokyo Gas Co is also looking to expand its coal-fired power capacity as it prepares to compete for a bigger share of the residential electricity market when it opens up for competition in 2016.