Report Highlights

Japan's current renewable energy policy focuses on generating power from solar, wind, and geothermal sources. Imports of wood pellets have been increasing for thermal power generation. For biofuels, FAS projects that the Government of Japan (GOJ) will achieve its 2010 plan to introduce 500 million liters (crude oil equivalent) of biofuels by 2017. There is a broad consensus within Japan biofuels should not be produced using food crops. Consistent with this view, Japan is focusing research efforts on technology to produce biofuels from sources that do not compete with food.

Executive Summary

Japan's current renewable energy policy focuses on generating power from solar, wind, biomass, and geothermal sources. For biofuels, the Government of Japan (GOJ) maintains its 2010 plan to introduce 500 million liters (crude oil equivalent) of biofuels by 2017, and has required the oil industry to meet the goal. The oil industry decided to introduce 1,940 million liters of bio-Ethyl Tert-Butyl Ether (ETBE), which is equal to 500 million liters (crude oil equivalent) of biofuels, nearly all of which will be imported to the Japanese market. Biodiesel plays virtually no role in meeting the 2017 goal.

Bio-ETBE blended gasoline is far more prevalent than E3 gasoline and is widely distributed. In 2012, the GOJ permitted sales of E10 and ETBE22 gasoline and vehicles designed to use these biofuels; however, this change has had a limited effect on the market as the supply of E3 and E10 remains small compared to that of bio-ETBE gasoline. The Japanese petroleum industry does not have any plans to supply ETBE22 gasoline.

When considering biofuels, there are two significant issues that Japan takes into account: 1) food-vs-fuel and 2) carbon emissions.

Japan has a low food self-sufficiency rate; imports comprise the majority of the food it consumes. As a result, Japanese people are highly sensitive to issues of rising food prices, leading to a debate within Japan critical of using food crops to produce biofuels.

Japan has established its own sustainability standards for biofuels and only allows for bioethanol with a CO2 emission of less than 50 percent that of gasoline. The GOJ used a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to calculate the CO2 emissions of the entire chain, from the initial cultivation of the raw material to the transportation of the final product to the end consumer, and concluded that only Brazilian sugarcane ethanol meets Japan's sustainability standards. Based on available sources, Japan's imports of ethanol for fuel in 2015 were estimated to be approximately 606 million liters (including the ethanol in imported ETBE) equaling an average blend of 1.14 percent. The ethanol for fuel was all imported from Brazil. Discussions to update the sustainability standards for biofuels may start this year.

Japan has restarted only a few of its nuclear power reactors, forcing Japan's power companies to rely on other methods to generate power, such as hydro and coal. The power companies are also turning to wood pellets as a renewable energy source. Imports of wood pellets, which reached a record 232,425 metric tons (MT) in 2015, are expected to increase further because the trend of mixing wood pellets with coal for thermal power generation is expected to continue and the number of small and mid-scale biomass power facilities (below 10,000 kW), which use wood materials including wood pellets is increasing under the Feed-in Tariff (FIT) system.

Policy and Programs

Major Ministries Involved in Biofuel Policy

A number of ministries collaborate on Japan's biofuels policy, but three ministries - the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), the Ministry of Environment (MOE), and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) – play major roles in developing and implementing biofuels policies. MOE's main concerns are preventing global warming and meeting Japan's commitment to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In May 2015, Japan announced its commitment to reduce its 2013 levels of GHG emissions by 26 percent by 2030. In terms of energy security, METI is interested in biofuels as a supplemental source of fuel and is interested in analyzing the cost-benefit of shifting to renewable fuels and their impact on automobiles and infrastructure. METI collaborates with the oil industry to introduce biofuels in the market. MAFF's goal is to revitalize rural communities by producing biofuels or renewable energies (e.g., heat and power) from domestically available sources (e.g., rice for non-food purpose for biofuels; and livestock and wood wastes for renewable energies).

Policy Goals

On April 11, 2014, Japan published its Basic Energy Plan for the next five years. This strategy considers renewable energy as an important source for three reasons: (1) to increase its domestic production of renewable energy to ensure a stable supply. This has become especially important since the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, when all of the nuclear reactors were shut down, as Japan's imports of energy for generating power have increased by approximately three trillion yen (approximately $30 billion); (2) to prevent global warming; and (3) to promote a distributed power system to revitalize regional economies.

Japan aims to increase the share of its power supply from renewable energy sources to 22-24 percent by 2030. For biofuels, the Basic Energy Plan states that “Concerning biofuels, which are mostly imported,

Japan continues to introduce the fuels in light of international trends and technical development of the next generation of biofuels." According to sources, this statement indicates the GOJ's belief that biofuels from sources that do not compete with food, e.g., cellulosic ethanol, are to be considered as part of Japan's energy supply. The GOJ requires oil refiners to supply 500 million liters of biofuels (crude oil equivalent) by 2017

According to Japanese government sources, discussions to set a target for after 2017 will begin later this year.

Government Incentives for Biomass-based Fuels

In 2008, the GOJ introduced tax incentives to encourage the use of bioethanol by amending the Quality Control of Gasoline and Other Fuels Act. The gas tax is usually ¥53.8 per liter (approximately $0.53). Under the special measure, the gas tax is lowered by ¥1.6 per liter (about $0.02) if a fuel contains 3 percent bioethanol. The incentive is a fixed-term special measure, which is effective until March 31, 2018.

The GOJ removed its 3.1 percent tariff on ETBE to encourage the use of ETBE. Under the 2014 Temporary Measures concerning Customs Act, imports of ETBE derived from biomass is tariff free through March 31, 2018.

Also in 2008, the Law to Promote the Usage of Biomass Resources to Produce Biofuels entered into force. The legislation includes tax breaks and financial assistance for biofuel manufacturers and farmers producing feedstock, such as agricultural cooperatives and private businesses. The government encourages collaboration of those two groups, and their plans are monitored by MAFF in order to qualify for the benefits. Under the scheme, newly built biofuel facilities that are approved for the program by 2018 will have their fixed property tax reduced by half for three years. The redemption period for interest-free loans for farmers will be extended by two years, to a total of 12 years, for farmers producing feedstock.

Environmental Sustainability Standards for Liquid Biofuels Used in Transport

In 2010, MOE released the first version of the “Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) Guideline for Biofuels" to allow manufacturers and importers of biofuels in Japan to assess their biofuels businesses.

In 2010, the GOJ established its own sustainability standards for biofuels. METI notified oil distributors that, in light of the LCA, GHG emissions from the bioethanol they procure must be less than 50 percent that of gasoline, and the bioethanol must not compete with the food supply. According to MOE's LCA analysis, the only source of bioethanol which can fulfill the METI's GHG emissions requirements is bioethanol from sugar cane grown on existing farmland in Brazil.

METI's Expert Committee to Discuss the Future of Biofuels Usage in Japan is considering advising MOE to revise the LCA Guideline for Biofuels to include the latest available assessments on GHG emissions of biofuels feedstocks.

Feed-in Tariff System to Promote Renewable Energy in Heat and Power Plants

In 2012, the GOJ introduced a feed-in tariff (FIT) system for electricity from renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power. Under the system, power companies are obliged to buy electricity at set rates for set periods (for 10 to 20 years). The rates are reviewed annually and are expected to decrease as the costs incurred by power companies to buy electricity from renewable energy sources are passed on to consumers through increased electricity rates. Since the system was introduced, the number of power generating facilities using renewable energies has steadily increased.

In 2014, renewable energy accounted for 12.2 percent of Japan's total power supply. Hydropower accounts for nine percent. The GOJ aims to increase the proportion of renewable energies to 22-24 percent by 2030. This goal is challenged by the high cost of generating power from renewable sources. For example, the cost to be borne by consumers in 2016 for the FIT system will be ¥2.25 per kilowatt-hour, for a total of ¥1.8 trillion (approximately $18 billion). This issue of high costs is under discussion by the GOJ.

Gasoline and Diesel Markets

Trends in Fuel Use

The GOJ estimates that gasoline demand will continue to decrease, largely due to three factors: (1) the decrease in the number of automobiles as a result of the decline in Japan's population, (2) improved vehicle fuel efficiency, and (3) the increase in energy-saving automobiles, such as hybrid cars. In 2015, demand for gasoline was 53 billion liters, and by 2020 it is forecast to decrease to 47 billion litters.

The GOJ estimates that the demand for diesel will continue to decrease due to the decline in the number of trucks as a result of streamlining logistics systems. However, the decrease will be offset over the next several years as the number of diesel-fueled passenger cars is expected to increase. In 2015, demand for diesel was 33 billion liters and it is forecast to stay about the same level for the foreseeable future.

Demand for jet fuel is expected to decline slightly due in large part to improved airplane fuel efficiency. In 2015, demand for jet fuel was 5.4 billion liters, and by 2020 it is forecast to decrease slightly to 5.2 billion litters.

Japan's transportation sector (excluding railways) depends on fossil fuel for 98 percent of its energy, followed by electricity (two percent) and natural gas (0.1 percent). In its 2014 Basic Energy Plan, the GOJ stated that it will promote diversification of energy sources in the transportation sector. Biofuels are considered to be an important energy source along with electricity, natural and LP gases, and hydrogen. The GOJ is encouraging the increased use of biofuels in jet fuel.

Trends in Engine Technology

In order to help reduce Japan's GHG emissions, the Japanese auto industry is promoting the so called “clean energy vehicles," which include electric, hybrid, and natural gas fueled cars. Japanese auto companies began selling hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in 2014. Since the GOJ introduced subsidies and tax incentives for “clean energy vehicles" in 2009, the number of these vehicles has been increasing, with the total number of “clean energy vehicles" in Japan exceeding five million in 2014, the last year for which data is available. Although clean energy vehicles still only account for 6.7 percent of the total number of automobiles in Japan, their numbers are expected to increase further

Development in Vehicle Fleet Efficiency

In 2012, a new standard for vehicle fleet efficiency was established for gasoline fueled passenger vehicles. The goal of the new standard is to attain vehicle fleet efficiency of 20.3 km per liter by 2020, compared to the 2009 level of 16.3 km per liter. As a result of the efforts by the auto industry in developing technologies to improve efficiency, by 2014 the average fleet efficiency of gasoline fueled passenger cars was 21.8 km per liter. Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport will start to consider setting a new standard.

Ethanol

Production

Virtually all (99 percent) ethanol in Japan is imported. Japan imports un-refined ethanol, which is then distilled to produce refined ethanol for industrial purposes. There are about 30 such refineries throughout the nation. Currently, two companies produce approximately one million liters of synthetic ethanol annually from ethylene for use in industrial chemicals, and three refineries produce approximately a total of two million liters of bioethanol from molasses and rice for fuel in Japan.

Refineries of Ethanol for Fuel

Of those three facilities, one is located in Niigata Prefecture and is operated by JA Zen-noh, a federation of agricultural cooperatives. It uses high yield rice grown specifically for biofuel production. The facility produced approximately 0.2 million liters of bioethanol from rice in 2015. The ethanol is used as part of an E3 blend, and the E3 gasoline is sold at six affiliated gas stations around Niigata Prefecture.

The two other facilities are located in Okinawa Prefecture; one is on the main island of Okinawa, and the other is on Miyakojima Island, about 300 kilometers southwest of the main island. The ethanol for fuel project on the main island of Okinawa is supervised by MOE, and in 2015 the facility produced approximately 1.8 million liters of ethanol from molasses, which is obtained from the process of making sugar from sugarcane. The facility on Miyakojima Island is run by the Miyakojima City Government in cooperation with a local oil supplier. It also uses molasses to produce ethanol. In 2015, it produced 17 thousand liters of ethanol. The ethanol produced on those islands is used as part of an E3 and E10 blend and is sold at gas stations on the two islands.

PS&D – Ethanol

Calendar Year

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

Beginning Stocks

10

15

13

12

3

3

4

4

5

5

Fuel Begin Stocks

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Production

0

20

25

24

23

22

2

2

1

1

Fuel Production*

0

20

25

24

23

22

2

2

1

1

Imports

325

439

739

732

738

799

943

1,041

1,181

1,257

Fuel Imports

3

66

336

338

334

382

517

606

746

822

of which is ETBE

3

24

296

294

288

334

458

539

678

754

Exports

0

11

5

5

1

0

0

0

0

0

Fuel Exports

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Consumption*

320

450

760

760

760

820

945

1,042

1,182

1,256

Fuel Consumption

3

86

361

362

357

404

519

608

747

823

Ending Stocks

15

13

12

3

3

4

4

5

5

7

Fuel Ending Stocks

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Total BalanceCheck

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Fuel BalanceCheck

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Production Capacity

Number of Refineries

575

607

625

625

625

625

626

626

626

626

Nameplate Capacity

0%

3%

4%

4%

4%

4%

0%

0%

0%

0%

Capacity Use (%)

Co-product Production (1,000 MT)

DDG

Corn Oil

Feedstock Use for Fuel (1,000 MT)

Molasses

1

1

1

2

5

8

8

8

8

8

Rice

0

2

2

2

2

2

2

1

1

1

Wheat Kernals

0

25

31

31

28

25

0

0

0

0

Sugar Beets

0

95

124

116

105

95

0

0

0

0

Market Penetration (Million Liters)

Fuel Ethanol

3

86

361

362

357

404

519

608

747

823

Gasoline

57,473

57,347

55,643

54,116

56,207

55,419

52,975

53,104

52,067

50,179

Blend Rate (%)

0.0%

0.1%

0.6%

0.7%

0.6%

0.7%

1.0%

1.1%

1.4%

1.6%

Consumption and Distribution ChannelConsumption

In 2015, about 42 percent of ethanol was used for food processing, cosmetics and toiletry products, and medical and hygienic purposes, and 58 percent of ethanol was used for fuel. Most of the ethanol for fuel is used in ETBE.

The distribution channel for ethanol blended gasoline (E3/E10) is very limited compared to that for ETBE blended bio-gasoline. E3/E10 gasoline is available only in a few prefectures, e.g., Okinawa and Niigata. However, ETBE blended bio-gasoline is available throughout the nation. Consumption of ETBE blended bio-gasoline is expected to increase over the next few years as the PAJ is mandated to introduce 1,940 million liters of ETBE by 2017.

Since April 2016, sales of E3 blended gasoline have been suspended in Okinawa because Petrobras, the parent company of the oil refinery company in Okinawa which had supplied base gasoline (sub-octane gasoline) to blend with ethanol to make E3/E10 gasoline decided to withdraw from the oil refining business. Who will take over the business has not been decided. Until the supply of base gasoline is resumed, fuel ethanol facilities in Okinawa are forced to keep ethanol in the tanks of the facilities.

Trade

In 2015, Japan imported 606 million liters of ethanol for transportation, which incudes that in ETBE. According to available information, all imported ethanol for fuel comes from Brazil. In 2009, Japan Biofuels Supply LLP began importing ethanol to produce ETBE domestically. It imported approximately 40 million liters of ethanol each year through 2014. The import quantity is expected to increase to approximately 65 million liters because the two major suppliers of ethanol for fuel in Hokkaido have closed their operations. In 2010, a joint venture established between Japanese and Brazilian companies started importing ethanol for fuel. The company supplies ethanol for fuel mainly in Okinawa Prefecture.

Imports of ETBE are far greater than those of ethanol for fuel. In 2015, Japan imported all 1.271 billion liters of bio-ETBE (equal to an ethanol equivalent of 539 million liters) from the United States. Use of bio-ETBE is expected to increase further, as the PAJ aims to supply 1,940 million liters of bio-ETBE by 2017. Of these, the PAJ expects to import 1.8 billion liters, all of which will come from the United States as the PAJ has a purchase contract with a U.S. company.

Biodiesel

Overall Supply and Demand Situation

Japan's production of biodiesel is extremely limited. Post estimates biodiesel production at 15 million liters in 2015 based on data from the Japan Organic Recycling Association. Post estimates that the production will remain at the same level. Due to lower diesel prices, demand for biodiesel, which is a substitute of diesel, is likely to decrease. However, robust exports of biodiesel will offset the decrease in domestic demand.

PS&D Biodiesel

Calendar Year

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

Beginning Stocks

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Production*

8

9

10

12

14

14

15

15

16

16

Imports

0.1

0.5

0.6

1.1

1.3

1.3

Exports

2.3

3.1

3.2

3.6

4.6

4.6

Consumption

8

9

10

12

12

11

12

13

13

13

Ending Stocks

BalanceCheck

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Production Capacity

Number of Biorefineries**

71

66

58

58

40

46

43

43

43

43

Nameplate Capacity

Capacity Use (%)

#DIV/0!

#DIV/0!

#DIV/0!

#DIV/0!

#DIV/0!

#DIV/0!

#DIV/0!

#DIV/0!

#DIV/0!

#DIV/0!

Feedstock Use for Fuel (1,000 MT)

Used Cooking Oil***

8

9

11

13

15

15

16

16

17

17

Feedstock B

Feedstock C

Feedstock D

Market Penetration (Million Liters)

Biodiesel, on-road use*

8

9

10

12

12

11

12

12

12

Diesel, on-road use

29,999

28,247

27,426

26,014

24,724

24,345

23,731

23,606

23,708

23,479

Blend Rate (%)

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.1%

0.1%

0.1%

0.1%

Diesel, total use

Consumption

Japan currently uses 23.6 billion liters of diesel for on-road transportation, and over 80 percent of biodiesel is consumed in this market. The calculated national average blend rate is a mere 0.1 percent. Given that on-road diesel use is expected to remain flat for some years, no change in the biodiesel market or blend rate is foreseen unless a new role for biodiesel is established in post-2017 biofuel goals. Japan's blend rate for biodiesel is five percent (B5). By receiving special approval from METI, operators are able to use biodiesel with a blend rate higher than five percent for their trucks and buses, as is the case for the City of Kyoto.

Approximately 87 percent of biodiesel in Japan is used for trucks and buses, followed by passenger cars (five percent), heavy machinery at construction sites (four percent), agricultural machinery (two percent), and generating power (one percent). According to an industry source, consumption of biodiesel in the transportation sector is not expected to increase beyond small changes because distribution channels are not established and fuel standards limit blending due to concern that fuel blended rate at higher rates may cause engine trouble. But such concerns have proven to be unfounded and are commonly seen as an argument against change. U.S. and European programs have successfully introduced blends above B5 at large scale with organized programs aimed at producers, distributors and consumers to insure fuel quality, safety in handling, and problem-free vehicle fleet management. A number of countries, most notably Brazil, Argentina, Malaysia, and Indonesia, have reached the B7-10 level and are pushing higher. In the United States, long-haul, heavy duty truck fleets routinely fill up with B10, and over 95 percent of diesel engines in use today are approved for blends up to B20 by original engine manufacturers, included Japanese manufacturers. European fuel standards approve B7 use and a number of municipal bus systems and managed fleets use B10. Engines are proven to run longer on biodiesel blends as compared to fossil diesel alone. In Japan, national government and several local governments have tightened controls on exhaust emissions from diesel-powered vehicles, one of which urges to replace old diesel vehicles with the new models, which meet the new emission standards. The use of biodiesel in combination with appropriately designed engines can lower most unwanted emissions beyond that which can be accomplished by using fossil diesel alone. Indeed, the main driver for New York City's biodiesel mandate for heating oil is to lower health damaging pollutants.

Trade

Since 2011, a private company in Kyoto has been exporting biodiesel to the Netherlands.

Japan's imports of biodiesel have been increasing. According to an industry source, biodiesel is most likely imported for the use of generating power.

In 2015, Japan imported 1.1 million liters of biodiesel. Of this, 96 percent was from Malaysia. The import tariff for biodiesel from Malaysia is zero due to a bilateral economic partnership agreement.

Advanced Biofuels

Research and Development

Japanese private companies and Japan's scientific community, including universities and public and private research institutions, are expending significant effort toward basic and applied research related to biofuels. The focus of their research projects is cellulosic and algal sources and technologies to mass produce biofuels in a sustainable way. Several joint research projects aim to mass produce bio jet fuel from algae. The goal is to commercialize these fuels by 2030.

Development in Fuels from Algae - Two Examples

In 2015, the Algal Biomass and Energy System R&D Center at University of Tsukuba held an international symposium on algal biomass. In the symposium attended by officials of both Japanese and U.S. governments as well as researchers and company representatives, the participants discussed collaboration between Japan and the United States to develop an algal biomass industry.

A venture firm in Tokyo plans to produce bio jet fuel from euglena, a kind of algae, and aims to commercialize it by 2020. The firm has a farm to grow euglena on Ishigaki Island in Okinawa Prefecture, and is building a facility to produce bio jet fuel from the euglena in Yokohama City. The facility will have an annual production capacity of 125 million liters of bio jet fuel.

The GOJ aims to Introduce Bio Jet Fuel from Algae in 2020

The Government of Japan (GOJ) wants to introduce bio jet fuel for commercial flights in 2020, the year that the Summer Olympic Games and Paralympic Games will be held in Tokyo. In 2015, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) established a joint expert committee to discuss the plan. The committee has two working groups; one studies the supply chain of bio jet fuel, and the other examines fuel production. The committee may consider importing bio jet fuel when the quantity of domestic production is not sufficient.

Production and Consumption of Cellulosic Ethanol

The Bioethanol Division of a private company in Sakai City, Osaka that operates recycling facilities to process waste products and materials began production of ethanol from wood and lumber waste in 2007. Its annual production capacity is 1.4 million liters. For the first several years, the company supplied the ethanol to a couple of oil distributors who make E3 gasoline to sell at the distributors' affiliated gas stations. However, because E3 gasoline did not come into wide use, there is little demand for the company's ethanol. The company is currently using most of the ethanol it produces to generate power for its facility, and it sells the rest of the ethanol to an industrial alcohol distributor.

Biomass for Heat and Power

Japan's production and import of wood pellets is increasing. Imports of palm kernel shells (PKS) used for heat and power is also increasing. Although Japan has abundant biomass resources, it is unable to extract those resources economically. Imports of wood pellets and PKS are therefore likely to increase in the coming years because the trend of mixing wood pellets with coal for thermal power generation is expected to continue and the number of biomass power facilities, which use wood materials including wood pellets and PKS, is increasing under the Feed-in Tariff (FIT) system.

Since the GOJ's Biomass Nippon Strategy was unveiled in 2002, the introduction of pellet boilers and stoves for heating in public facilities and ordinary households has expanded. Accordingly, the number of plants and the production of pellets have increased significantly. In 2014, Japan's production of wood pellets was 126 thousand MT, and there were 142 plants. The production scale of wood pellet plants in Japan is very small compared to modern commercial plants in the United States and Europe. About 60 percent of the plants in Japan produce a mere 100 – 1,000 MT each year. The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) points out that in order to increase competitiveness of domestically produced wood pellets, the production scale of the wood pellets plants must increase.

In Japan, most of the nuclear power reactors are currently shut down due to the national debate on the safety of nuclear power generation that began in the wake of the nuclear power plant accident in Fukushima occurred in 2011. Japan is now forced to rely on other energy sources to generate power.

After the accident in Fukushima, power companies began using wood pellets as a stable source for thermal power generation, though coal is still the main source. The companies use imported wood pellets, as prices are lower compared to those produced domestically. Japan has a zero import tariff for wood pellets.

In 2015, Japan's imports of wood pellets increased 140 percent from the previous year to 232 thousand MT. Of these, 146 thousand MT, or 63 percent, were imported from Canada, followed by China (25 percent) and Vietnam (12 percent). According to industry sources, Canada is the leading supplier due to competitive prices and quality. Imports of wood pellets are likely to increase in the coming years because the trend of mixing wood pellets with coal for thermal power generation is expected to continue and the number of small and mid-scale biomass power facilities (below 10,000 kW), which use wood materials including wood pellets and palm kernel shells (PKS) is increasing under the Feed-in Tariff (FIT) system.

PS&D Wood Pellets

Calendar Year

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

Beginning Stocks

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Production*

36

51

58

79

98

110

126

145

167

192

Imports**

42

59

73

74

72

84

97

232

302

362

Exports**

4

3

3

4

4

5

4

0.5

1

1

Consumption

74

107

128

149

166

189

219

376

468

553

Ending Stocks

BalanceCheck

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Production Capacity

Number of Plants*

63

75

85

108

109

115

142

150

155

160

Nameplate Capacity

Capacity Use (%)

#DIV/0!

#DIV/0!

#DIV/0!

#DIV/0!

#DIV/0!

#DIV/0!

#DIV/0!

#DIV/0!

#DIV/0!

#DIV/0!

Japan's imports of palm kernel shells (PKS) are also increasing to use for biomass power generation. In 2015, its imports of PKS doubled from the previous year to 456 thousand metrics tons, most of which came from Malaysia and Indonesia. Japan has a zero import tariff for PKS. Imports of PKS as well as wood pellets are expected to increase for years to come. Industry sources expect PKS imports to reach 1 million MT in 2016.

Japan is considering establishing its own standards to address concerns about environmental sustainability criteria for biomass products.