Japan's Chugoku Electric, JFE Steel scrap plan to build gas-fired power plant

TOKYO, March 31 (Reuters) - Japan’s Chugoku Electric Power Co and JFE Steel, a unit of JFE Holdings Inc, said on Wednesday they had scrapped a plan to jointly build a gas-fired power plant in Chiba, near Tokyo.

The move comes as Japanese companies are stepping up efforts to shift away from fossil fuel assets amid a growing decarbonisation push worldwide and to match an ambitious pledge by government of becoming carbon neutral by 2050.

In 2018, the two companies abandoned an initial plan to build a coal-fired power plant on a site owned by JFE, citing rising construction and other costs, and later started a feasibility study for a gas-fired power plant.

“But we came to a conclusion that the gas power station plan would not be feasible from the perspective of wholesale power prices and utilisation factor,” a spokesman at Chugoku Electric said.

JFE, Japan’s second-biggest steelmaker, will consider new plans for the site, a company spokesman said. (Reporting by Yuka Obayashi. Editing by Mark Potter)