Sumitomo exits Bangladesh coal plant expansion plan

  • Market: Coal, Electricity, Emissions
  • 03/03/22

Japanese trading house Sumitomo has decided to withdraw from a possible expansion of Bangladesh's Matarbari coal-fired power plant, as part of its strategy to gradually abandon its coal-related businesses to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

Sumitomo earlier made an exception for the possible expansion project when it pledged to stop investing in new coal-fired power plants in May last year. The decision to leave brings to an end Sumitomo's involvement in any future coal-fired power projects.

The project is aimed at expanding the Matarbari coal-fired power plant, where a Japanese consortium, including Sumitomo and engineering firms Toshiba and IHI, are constructing the 600MW No.1 and No.2 ultra super-critical coal-fired units under a contract with Bangladesh's state-owned Coal Power Generation signed in August 2017. Both units are scheduled to begin operations in July 2024.

Sumitomo is aiming to abandon its thermal coal mine assets by 2030 and withdraw from all ongoing coal-fired power projects in the latter half of the 2040s, including both domestic and overseas project developments.

Sumitomo has a target for coal to make up 20pc, gas 50pc and renewables 30pc of its power output by 2035, while cutting CO2 emissions from coal-fired generation by more than 60pc compared with 2019 levels by then. Sumitomo's power mix was 50pc fuelled by coal, 30pc by gas and 20pc by renewables in 2020.


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