Nov 12, 2020

Toshiba to build 10 coal-power plants before renewables push

Dominic Ellis
3 min
Japanese engineering and technology giant will complete construction work on plants across Asia before shifting focus to renewable energy
Japanese engineering and technology giant will complete construction work on plants across Asia before shifting focus to renewable energy...

Japan’s Toshiba Corporation will complete construction work on 10 coal-power plants ahead of stopping orders for new facilities as it pivots towards renewable energy.

The engineering and technology giant says that it will continue to manufacture steam turbines, offer maintenance services for existing coal-power plants and work on the construction of plants that have already been ordered.

The announcement highlights the differences between equipment suppliers as they move to leave behind the coal sector and focus on gas turbines and renewable energy projects. Samsung C&T has faced significant criticism over its intention to complete further coal projects before quitting the fuel, while General Electric said in September that it will pursue an exit from its existing obligations.

The firms have been coming under investor pressure to take action on climate change, while there is also the prospect of tighter government policies on greenhouse gas emissions, which will limit the scope for new coal-fired plants, even in Asia, where nations are currently reliant on the fuel as a form of cheap electricity generation, a Bloomberg report says.

“Demand for new coal-power plants has been dwindling,” Nobuaki Kurumatani, president of Toshiba Corporation, says. “We started considering withdrawing from new coal-plant construction in the previous fiscal year, and finally made the decision,” he adds, referring to the Japanese government’s pledge last month to become greenhouse gas neutral by 2050.

Over the next decade, renewable energy-related investments in Japan could total as much as £576.6 billion as the country looks to lower emissions, Kurumatani estimates. He adds that Toshiba currently has existing orders for the installation of coal-fired plant facilities in countries including Indonesia and India.

Shares of the firm rose by 0.8 percent in Tokyo training on Wednesday, following the announcement. The company has also released its second quarter earnings, announcing an annual dividend forecast that beat analysts’ estimates, Bloomberg says.

Llewelyn Hughes, an associate professor at the Australian National University’s Crawford School of Public Policy, says that Toshiba needs to change strategy to take advantage of growth sectors, the report says. 

“Toshiba is able to make this shift because it is a diversified company, so exiting coal is not existential for them,” he adds.

The company plants to invest £1.15 billion into renewable energy for its operations through the fiscal year, ending March 2023, while it also aims to halve carbon dioxide emissions by 2030, including so-called Scope 3 pollution, spokesperson Takashi Ebina says.

Furthermore, the Japanese giant intends to increase annual sales from its renewable energy business to £4.68 billion by March 2031, compared to approximately £1.36 billion in the most recent full year. Sales from its thermal coal power and hydrogen businesses amounted to £1.60 billion in the year ended March 31, which represents 6.6 percent of total sales.

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Jun 15, 2021

Skanska secures $84m Portland Airport upgrade contract

Dominic Ellis
2 min
Skanska Hoffman joint venture wins Terminal Core Expansion project, comprising structural, mechanical and electrical work and enclosure

A Skanska Hoffman Construction Company joint venture has signed a contract amendment with the Port of Portland for improvements to the Portland International Airport in Portland, Oregon, USA.

Skanska's share of the contract amendment is worth US$84M, which will be included in the US order bookings for the second quarter.

The amendment includes work on the Terminal Core Expansion project, comprising structural, mechanical and electrical work and enclosure. Construction is underway and scheduled for completion by 2025.

With annual travelers expected to climb to 33 million by 2045, the Terminal Core Redevelopment project is a vital expansion that ensures PDX will be able to serve the community well into the future.

Hoffman will install a new 9-acre large-span roofing system over the entire terminal core complex, build a 150-foot multi-floor addition between Concourses C and D, and add new pre- and post-security concessions.

The renovated passenger entry terminal will double the size of the current ticketing and lobby area when it opens in 2025. It is also replacing 16 old passenger boarding bridges plus equipment throughout the PDX concourses. Gate count is critical for PDX operation, so the team must coordinate with each airline to replace one bridge at a time. In addition, Hoffman is rebuilding and enlarging Concourse B. The project is targeting LEED Gold. 

Skanska USA recorded sales of SEK66 billion in 2020 and has about 7,600 employees in its operations.

In other recent developments:

  • Skanska has sold an elderly care home in Sollentuna outside Stockholm, for about SEK280M, to Altura and lease agreements have previously been signed with Nytida and Vardaga. 
  • The group has also divested a residential project consisting of rental apartments, senior apartments and a home for people with special needs in Malmö, to Bantorget Hyresbostäder for SEK300M.
  • Skanska has joined the climate initiative Leadership Group for Industry Transition (LeadIT) that gathers countries and leading companies committed to action to achieve the Paris Agreement.
  • Skanska has, through Cementation Skanska, signed a contract with the Skanska Costain STRABAG joint venture for major piling works for the London Tunnels section on the HS2 high speed railway.

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