July 20, 2011 / 11:21 AM / 9 years ago

UPDATE 1-West Japan faces peak-hour power shortfall -ministry

* No.2 Japan utility could see 6.2 pct shortfall at August
    * Four other western Japan utilities forecast to barely meet
    * Forecasts spur government to ask users to save power

 (Adds table, details)	
    TOKYO, July 20 (Reuters) - Western Japan's electricity
supply will fall 1.2 percent short of forecast peak demand for
August, as five regional utilities' efforts to boost supply
could not offset unplanned shutdowns this month of a nuclear
reactor and a coal-fired plant, Japan's trade ministry said on
    The shutdowns of Kansai Electric Power Co's 
1,175-megawatt Ohi No.1 nuclear reactor and Chugoku Electric
Power Co's 1,000-MW Misumi coal-fired unit pushed the
region into a power deficit, wiping out a tenuous 0.1 percent
supply capacity surplus over estimated peak August demand.	
    Kansai Electric, which is also set to shut two reactors for
planned maintenance this week, faces a 6.2 percent shortfall,
while the other four utilities have only marginal surpluses.	
    Japan's government on Wednesday asked customers of Kansai
Electric, the nation's second-biggest utility which serves Osaka
and surrounding areas, to cut peak summer power use by at least
10 percent compared with last summer to avoid unexpected
    Noriyuki Mita, director of the trade ministry's electricity
and gas industry department, said the government believed Kansai
Electric could avoid rolling blackouts this summer, potentially
aided by power-sharing from other utilities or emergency orders
for power cuts by large-lot users, in addition to broad-based
conservation efforts.	
    "We expect additional efforts by users to save energy will
make a certain amount of difference," Mita said.	
    It is not yet clear how long it will take Chugoku Electric
to fix the glitch at its Misumi coal-fired unit and restart it,
but it is expected to be back online by the end of August, Mita
    Following is the government's estimate for August power
shortfalls or surpluses for each of western Japan's five
utilities, as well as central Japan's Chubu Electric Power Co
                             Without Misumi     With
    Kansai Electric             -6.2 pct         -3.9
    Hokuriku Electric  +2.0 pct         +2.0 pct	
    Chugoku Electric   +2.8 pct         +5.1 pct	
    Shikoku Electric   +4.0 pct         +4.0 pct	
    Kyushu Electric    +2.1 pct         +2.1 pct	
    TOTAL, 5 firms              -1.2 pct         +0.1 pct	
    Chubu Electric     +3.2 pct         +3.2 pct	
    TOTAL, 6 firms               0.0 pct         +1.0 pct	
    Supply forecasts are based on company estimates. Demand
estimates are the higher of either each firm's estimate for peak
summer demand this year or actual peak demand last summer.	
 (Reporting by Risa Maeda; Editing by Edmund Klamann)
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