Signature Sponsor
Japan to Take Appropriate Steps to Ensure Stable Power Supply



July 10, 2024 - Japan's Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Ken Saito said July 9 that the country's power supply and demand will continue to be unpredictable amid severe heat, with the ministry taking appropriate steps to ensure stable supply.

"Given expectations of severe heat hereafter, there is no telling what will happen to the power supply and demand," Saito said.


"Through the monitoring of power supply and demand, we will closely monitor situations with tension, and we will appropriate take countermeasures for supply capacity to ensure stable power supply in the event of facing severe situations."

Saito added that Japan still does not plan to formally request for saving electricity as the country expects to have more gas-fired capacity toward the second half of July after completing scheduled maintenance works.

Saito's comments came after TEPCO Power Grid said its July 9 supply and demand balance continues to be severe on the back of a hot weather forecast, with its July 9 outlook reflecting increased power supply to ensure stability.

In response to the July 9 supply and demand outlook, JERA will increase electricity supply by a total of 107.2 MW over the nameplate capacity at the 600 MW No. 6 Hirono coal-fired unit, 1 GW No. 1 and 1 GW No. 2 Hitachinaka coal-fired units, 646.9 MW Shin No. 1 and 646.9 MW Shin No. 2 Anegasaki gas-fired units and 650 MW No. 1 and 650 MW No. 2 Yokosuka coal-fired units, it said.

Spot prices traded on the Japan Electric Power Exchange maintained strength on robust power demand. The 24-hour day-ahead price rose further to Yen 18.87/kWh for July 10 from 18.45/kWh July 9, Yen 16.51/kWh July 8 and Yen 12.15/kWh July 7.

Unplanned Outages

JERA is restarting the 1 GW No. 4 coal-fired unit at its Hekinan thermal power plant July 9 after an unplanned outage overnight, the company said in a filing to the Hatsuden Joho Kokai System.

The coal-fired unit had an unplanned outage at 10:10 pm local time July 8 (1310 GMT) due to a turbine-related facility, the company said in the HJKS filing.

In a separate HJKS filing, Aioi Bioenergy had an unplanned outage at the 200 MW wood pellet-fired unit at the Aioi biomass power plant at 8:30 pm local time July 8 due to a boiler-facility glitch, with the unit expected to be restarted July 15.

The 200-MW pellet-fired unit is operated by Aioi Bioenergy, in which Kansai Electric has a 60% stake, with the balance held by a Mitsubishi clean energy unit.

The summer heat has picked up in recent days in Japan, with the Organization Cross-Regional Coordination of Transmission Operators directing Chubu Electric Power Grid for the second time July 8 to supply 360 MW to Kansai Transmission and Distribution from 6:30 pm to 7 pm local time (0930 to 1000 GMT) due to worries of a supply crunch because of stronger-than-expected demand.

The latest directive by the OCCTO -- comprising all power companies in Japan -- comes as the Kansai area's reserve power supply capacity ratio earlier in the day was expected at 1.57%, a level below the country's minimum 3% to ensure stable power supply, for 7 pm but improved to 3.96% as a result of the extra supply.

The move followed the OCCTO asking Chubu Electric Power Grid earlier in the day to supply 200 MW to TEPCO Power Grid from 9 am until noon local time (0000 to 0300 GMT) due to concerns about tighter supplies in the wake of the hot weather.

JERA, which is a 50-50 joint venture between TEPCO Fuel & Power and Chubu Electric Power Co., restarted July 8 a total of 2.35 GW gas-fired capacity spread over three units and raised supply beyond the nameplate capacity by 375.8 MW for the day as part of its response to a low reserve power supply ratio in TEPCO Power Grid's service area.