In 2022, Idemitsu said it would end refining operations at the Yamaguchi plant, owned by its subsidiary Seibu Oil, by March 2024 to cut its refining capacity as the ageing and shrinking population in Japan and the global shift to greener energy eats into household demand for petroleum.

The Yamaguchi refinery has a crude oil processing capacity of 120,000 barrels-per-day. It will continue to be a receiving, shipping and stockpiling terminal for petroleum products even after terminating refining operations.

Idemitsu aims to make the site into a green energy hub, including resource recycling and technology development.

As a first step, the company plans to introduce and expand carbon-free electricity supply, using its solar power farms among others, in the second half of the 2020s, and aims to start biomass and resource recycling businesses later.

Detailed plans will be mapped out later, an Idemitsu spokesperson said.

(Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)