TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) plans to tighten rules for coal-fired power plants from April in an effort to cut greenhouse gas emissions in the power industry that account for 40 percent of the nation's total.

The steps, including non-binding requirements on the heat efficiency of new and existing coal-fired power stations, come after Japan committed to reduce the country's emissions by 26 percent by 2030 from the 2013 level.

A group of 36 power companies, which supply 99 percent of the country's electricity, have also formed a new body to take measures to trim emissions and meet the industry's voluntary goal to cut emissions by 35 percent in 2030, compared with 2013.


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The following is a list of the steps that the METI plans to implement from April 1.

* All new coal-fired power plants should aim to have a heat efficiency of at least 42 percent, equivalent to so-called ultra-super-critical plants or the most advanced technology available for commercial use.

* Existing plants should aim to have a heat efficiency of at least 41 percent by 2030.

* Power suppliers need to raise the overall heat efficiency of fossil fuel power plants to 44.3 percent by 2030.

* Power retailers should aim to buy 44 percent of energy generated from non-fossil fuels including renewable and nuclear by 2030.


(Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Aaron Sheldrick)