Kansai Electric Expands Crude Sources to Replace Idle Reactors

Kansai Electric Power Co., Japan’s second-biggest power company, expanded its sources of crude to include Malaysia, Russia and Angola as consumption increased fivefold following the Fukushima disaster in 2011.

Kansai Electric imported 5.42 million kiloliters of oil, or about 93,000 barrels a day, from seven countries in the year ended March 31, Akihiro Aoike, a Tokyo-based spokesman for the company, said by phone. That’s compared with 1.07 million kiloliters from five suppliers in fiscal 2010, he said.

Kansai Electric, the country’s most nuclear-reliant utility, is burning more fossil fuels as its reactors remain shut after the Fukushima crisis in March 2011. The Osaka-based utility shut its last operating reactor in September with no official schedule set for restarting any of its 11 units, leaving it little choice but to use more crude amid limited spare coal and gas capacity.

“The top priority was to secure enough volume, and it was impossible to cover the increased amount without expanding sources,” Aoike said. The company plans to maintain diversified suppliers of imports for the time being, Aoike said. He declined to identify the grades of crude the utility imported from each country.

The following table shows Kansai Electric’s fiscal 2010 and 2012 crude imports by country.

              FY2010             FY2012

Indonesia     771,000            1,484,000
Vietnam       246,000            1,196,000
Gabon           5,000              882,000
Australia      30,000              264,000
China          20,000                  ---
Angola            ---               63,000
Russia            ---              739,000
Malaysia          ---              787,000
Total       1,072,000            5,415,000

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