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West Japan utilities planning to receive power from those in east


Two western Japan power utilities are planning to receive power supply from eastern Japan for the first time to secure a sufficient local supply in the absence of nuclear power generation this summer, industry sources said Friday.

Kansai Electric Power Co. and Kyushu Electric Power Co. may use frequency converters to receive supply from Tokyo Electric Power Co. and other eastern Japan power utilities that have traditionally adopted a frequency different from that for western Japan.

Although western Japan utilities supplied power to each other to ensure that local supply met peak demand last summer, they do not expect supply this summer from two key power plants that were in operation then.

One of the two is Kansai Electric's Oi nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture, which has been offline for regular checkups and safety examinations since last autumn and is unlikely to restart by this summer.

The other is the Matsuura coal-fired plant in Nagasaki Prefecture, one of whose two units stopped operating due to an accident in March and is expected to remain offline for a long time. The plant is owned by Electric Power Development Co., an electricity wholesaler known as J-Power.

Kyushu Electric's Sendai nuclear power plant in Kagoshima Prefecture is expected to become the first Japanese nuclear plant to restart operations under new safety standards introduced last year following the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. But any specific date for its restart remains uncertain.