Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 04/15/2014 -- We expect a bright start for Japan's construction and infrastructure activity in 2014 due to several factors - namely aggressive fiscal and monetary measures, a large construction project pipeline and the potential for greater policy formation and project execution in Japan. However, it still remains to be seen whether the Japanese government will be able to overcome its fiscal problems and carry out the necessary reforms that could lift long-term construction and infrastructure demand. At present, we have seen some progress in implementing reforms specific to the infrastructure sector.
Key Trends And Developments
- In January 2014, three of Japan's expressway operators - East Nippon Expressway, Central Nippon Expressway and West Nippon Expressway ? announced that the cost of renovating aging bridges and tunnels on their expressways (about 2,110km of 9,000km of expressways) are estimated to total about JPY3.02trn over 15 years, starting from April 2014. JPY1.76trn of the funding is to be spent on largescale renewals of about 240km of bridges (including the replacement of bridge girders), while the remaining JPY1.26trn is to be spent on large-scale repair work for about 1,870km of expressways, including reinforcement work on tunnel foundations.
- In January 2014, Marubeni announced it had purchased a 100MW gas-fired power plant in the Tokyo area from independent power producer (IPP) F-Power. A spokeswoman from the company said Marubeni aims to add another 200MW of domestic capacity by 2016 when the nation's electricity market will be completely liberalised, bringing its thermal and hydro-power generation capacity in Japan to just over 360MW. According to Japanese newspaper the Nikkei (which did not cite a source), this deal is part of a JPY150bn (US$1.43bn) plan by Marubeni to expand its thermal power business in Japan. The company is understood to be looking to develop two more gas-fired and two coal-fired thermal plants, all within the 100MW capacity range in the Tokyo metropolitan area by 2016. The Nikkei also reported that Marubeni plans to continue developing thermal power plants after 2016, as well as commercial scale solar and wind power plants outside Tokyo to ramp up its domestic power generation capacity to 1,500MW by 2020.
- In December 2013, TEPCO announced it plans to build a new energy-efficient coal-fired power plant in collaboration with local company Mitsubishi in Fukushima. TEPCO will enter into a partnership with three Mitsubishi subsidiaries - Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Mitsubishi and Mitsubishi Electric - to build integrated gasification combined-cycle stations, reports Reuters. The Mitsubishi subsidiaries will hold a majority stake in the new plants, while TEPCO will look after the operations. The power plants are expected to be operational by 2020.
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