Japan Power Utilities Use Less Oil in July as Reactors Restart

Japanese power companies cut their consumption of crude and fuel oil in July from a year earlier as two nuclear reactors reduced the country’s reliance on more expensive sources to generate electricity.

Japan’s 10 regional power utilities used 1.09 million kiloliters of fuel oil, 13 percent less than a year earlier, according to data released by the Federation of Electric Power Cos. of Japan today. Crude demand fell 7.3 percent to about 846,000 kiloliters, the data shows.

Kansai Electric Power Co. restarted two 1,180-megawatt reactors at its Ohi plant in western Japan in July 2012, ending a two-month nuclear-free period after the Fukushima disaster in March 2011. The country, where nuclear power provided about 30 percent of electricity prior to the disaster, would have no operating reactors again next month if the two Ohi reactors are shut as scheduled for regular maintenance by September 15.

The 10 power companies generated and purchased 83.21 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity last month, up 1.7 percent from a year earlier, the power federation said today, citing power demand for air conditioning.

The average temperature in Tokyo’s Otemachi financial district in July was 27.3 degrees Celsius (81 degrees Fahrenheit), compared with the monthly average of 25.8 degrees Celsius between 1981 and 2010, according to data compiled by the Japan Meteorological Agency.

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

                July 2013          Change on Year

Coal            5,437,729          14.9%
Fuel oil        1,090,772         -12.8%
Crude oil         846,220          -7.3%
LNG             4,797,893           1.6%

Coal            5,320,044          14.1%
Fuel oil        1,028,360         -16.9%
Crude oil         846,111          10.8%
LNG             5,176,981           1.9%

Source: The Federation of Electric Power Cos. of Japan

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