TOKYO, Dec 14 (Reuters) - Japan's 10 major power utilities
used a record amount of natural gas for the month of November
last month to compensate for a lack of supply from nuclear power
plants, industry data showed on Friday.
The utilities combined burned 4.51 million tonnes of
liquefied natural gas (LNG) equivalent to generate power in
November, up 9.8 percent from a year earlier, the Federation of
Electric Power Companies said.
The 10 companies generated 72.35 billion kilowatt-hours of
electricity last month, up 0.4 percent from a year earlier, as
a pick-up in heating demand due to colder weather exceeded
nationwide power saving and a weak trend in demand from the
manufacturing sector. The data was in line with expectations for
a 0.6 percent increase in a Reuters projection.
Japan's nuclear power plant utilisation rate stood at 5.3
percent in November, compared with 5.2 percent in October.
Public opposition is preventing nuclear plant operators from
restarting reactors shut down for maintenance checks following
the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, which triggered a
radiation crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
All 50 working commercial reactors in Japan were offline for
nearly two months from early May this year.
Two reactors operated by Kansai Electric Power Co
resumed operations in July, but no timetable has been set for
the restart of other facilities as a new nuclear watchdog is
tightening safety regulations.
The previous record for natural gas use for the month of
November was 4.11 million tonnes in 2011, while the monthly
record stands at 5.23 million tonnes in January 2012.
Following is a table of total energy purchases and
consumption by the utilities for last month, according to the
federation's data (volumes of crude, fuel oil and naphtha in
barrels calculated by Reuters from kilolitres; LNG and coal in
Purchase Oct-12 Nov-11 Nov-12 yr/yr %
Coal 4,358,755 3,538,392 4,371,043 23.5
Fuel oil 8,035,150 6,276,390 7,274,185 15.9
Crude 7,045,909 6,202,969 5,473,076 -11.8
Total oil 15,081,060 12,479,359 12,747,261 2.1
LNG 4,470,709 4,509,371 4,614,576 2.3
Naphtha 0 0 0 n.a.
Consumption Oct-12 Nov-11 Nov-12 yr/yr %
Coal 3,799,575 4,137,973 3,968,728 -4.1
Fuel oil 7,386,156 6,104,679 6,990,962 14.5
Crude 6,761,340 7,050,576 7,549,163 7.1
Total oil 14,147,496 13,155,255 14,540,124 10.5
LNG 4,261,369 4,105,102 4,509,182 9.8
Naphtha 0 524 24 -95.4
(1 kilolitre = 6.2898 barrels)
(Reporting by Risa Maeda; Editing by Richard Pullin)
Keywords: UTILITIES JAPAN/ELECTRICITY
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