A Japanese paper firm is looking at geothermal development in a company-owned forest on Hokkaido, Japan in a drive to become a full-fledged power business and diversify from a declining paper market in Japan.
Reported by Nikkei in Japan, Oji Paper Co has announced that “it will survey a company-owned forest in Hokkaido to explore its potential for geothermal power.”
This is a joint effort with general contractor firm Obayashi Corp. and both companies are expected to start work in the fall of 2012. Expected cost for development is several billion yen (several $10 million).
Oji Paper has been looking at branching out into natural resources and energy as the Japanese market for paper has been in decline for some time.
The company will survey a 3,152 hectare property close to the town of Biei, in the Kamikawa Districkt on Hokkaido Island in the North of Japan.
Oji is already a nationally registered power producer and supplier having sold hydroelectric power from Hokkaido to other companies and has also been experimenting with wood-based biomass energy. Geothermal energy is now seen as a tool for the company to become a full-fledged power business, so Nikkei.