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Japan Chubu Electric's coal-fired power unit hit by fire; gas usage to rise

Japan's Chubu Electric Power was forced to shut the 700 MW No 3 unit at its coal-fired plant in Hekinan, Aichi due to a fire Sunday, a company official said Monday, adding that the company will increase its gas-fired power generation to make up for the shortfall.

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The fire started at 1:44 am local time Sunday (1644 GMT Saturday) at the coal pulverizer at the No. 3 unit and it was extinguished at 4:04 am, the official said.

No one was was injured in the fire and it is not clear when the unit will resume operations, the official added.

There are four other coal-fired units at the 4.1 GW Hekinan plant, but it is not know if these are affected.

As a result of the shutdown, the company is looking to increase its gas-fired power generation at its 4.802 GW power plant in Kawagoe, Mie, the official said without providing specifics.

Japan is in the midst of winter power demand season which typically spans from December to March.

--Eriko Amaha,
--Edited by Deepa Vijiyasingam,