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Japan Utilities Use Less Oil on Nuclear Restart, New Coal Units

Japan’s utilities used less crude and fuel oil in June as the operation of two nuclear reactors and new coal-fired units helped them reduce reliance on more-expensive sources.

Japan’s 10 regional power utilities consumed about 770,000 kiloliters of crude in June, down 27 percent from a year earlier, according to data released today by the Federation of Electric Power Cos. of Japan. Fuel oil usage fell 37 percent to about 744,000 kiloliters, the data shows.

Japan had no nuclear output in June last year as all of the country’s 50 reactors were shut for safety checks after the Fukushima disaster in March 2011. Consumption of crude and fuel oil fell last month as Kansai Electric Power Co. restarted two reactors last July and Tokyo Electric Power Co. began test operations of two coal-fired facilities in April this year.

The 10 regional companies generated and purchased 70.91 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity last month, up 0.6 percent from a year earlier, according to the data. Warmer temperatures raised electricity demand for air conditioning, the federation said in a statement.

The following table shows Japanese utilities’ consumption and purchases of fuel oil, crude, LNG and coal in June. Fuel oil and crude volumes are in kiloliters, while those for LNG and coal are in tons.

               June 2013       June 2012

Coal            4,475,589      3,558,561
Fuel oil          744,459      1,176,918
Crude oil         769,837      1,060,216
LNG             4,248,650      4,262,986

Coal            4,686,978      3,663,373
Fuel oil          740,032      1,147,423
Crude oil         770,743      1,137,670
LNG             4,233,306      4,421,845

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