Mitsubishi Corporation (MC) and Kyushu Electric Power Co., Inc. (KEPCO) reached a collaboration agreement on December 10, 2013 under which both companies will work together to investigate the potential for establishing a geothermal power plant in Minamiaso Village, Kumamoto Prefecture. The agreement finds its roots in efforts aimed at contributing to the reduction of global warming through the effective utilization of domestic sources of energy. The proposal from the two companies, which is consistent with the village’s ordinance for the effective utilization of geothermal resources, was submitted to Minamiaso on January 14, 2015, and as a result of deliberations by the village’s evaluating committee, MC and KEPCO today received authorization to proceed with the investigation.
MC and KEPCO plan to conduct surface investigation (including gravitational and electromagnetic methods) in order to better comprehend the subsurface structure, the actual conditions of surrounding hot springs, and how they have changed over time. If the investigation reveals that the subsurface structure contains geothermal resources appropriate for exploration, MC and KEPCO will take further steps towards developing the village’s geothermal resources, including the excavation of exploration wells.