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Japan Utilities Losses Reach $6 Billion After Fukushima Crisis

Kansai Electric Power Co. and six other Japanese nuclear operators reported losses of 463.89 billion yen ($6 billion) in the first nine months of the current financial year, highlighting the cost of thermal generation to replace atomic plants idled after the Fukushima disaster.

Kansai Electric Power Co. today reported a loss of 118 billion yen for the nine months to Dec. 31, compared with a 108 billion yen profit a year earlier. Chubu Electric Power Co. had a loss of 71 billion yen for the same period, the company also said today.

Kansai Electric, the main power supplier to Japan’s second-largest industrial area, and other regional electricity suppliers are paying higher fuel bills as their reactors were shut for checks following the meltdowns and radiation leaks at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant. All but three of the country’s 54 reactors are idled.

Japan’s liquefied natural gas imports rose 12.1 percent to a record 78.53 million metric tons in 2011 as utilities imported more of the fuel to generate electricity.

Tokyo Electric hasn’t decided when it will report earnings for the first nine months, Naoyuki Matsumoto, a spokesman for the company, said by phone today.

The following table shows the reported losses for April to December last year among nuclear power operators except Tokyo Electric and Shikoku Electric Power Co., which reported a profit, and their forecasts for the full financial year. Figures are in billions of yen.

COMPANY EARNINGS FORECAST ----- ---------------------------------------------------------------- ----------------------------------------------------------- Chubu Electric -70.762 -110

Kansai Electric -118.11 Not Provided

Chugoku Electric -0.42 Not Provided

Hokuriku Electric -3.01 Not Provided

Tohoku Electric -167.716 -250

Kyushu Electric -90.51 Not Provided

Hokkaido Electric -13.362 Not Provided

---------------------------------------------------------------- Sources: Company earnings statements.

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