Kyushu forced to buy costly power after plant shutdown

Kyushu Electric was forced to buy costly power outside its usual suppliers due to an unplanned shutdown of its gas-fired plant.


The utility initially bought electricity from other utilities in the west of Japan under individual contracts to make up for power lost from its 2,295 megawatt gas-fired plant following trouble at its fuel supply facility due to cold weather.

Eventually, Kyushu was forced to turn to the Electric Power System Council of Japan, the country's nationwide grid body independent of power suppliers, to find an extra supplier, which tunred out to be TEPCO.

A council official said Friday morning's incident was the first time Kyushu bought power from Tokyo via the council's nationwide power sharing system in an emergency since it started in 2005.

Kyushu has said it was to receive electricity assistance totalling 2,400 MW from six utilities until the Shin-Oita plant was restarted. It has managed to avoid power outages.

The utility, based on the southwestern island of Kyushu where auto and electronics equipment factories are located, asked some of its large power users to cut use, but later canceled the request as the power crunch was addressed.

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