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Tokyo — Japanese utility Tokyo Electric Power Company's crude and fuel oil use for thermal power generation is expected to be less than 3.5 million kiloliters, or 60,000 b/d, and its LPG consumption around 300,000 mt for fiscal 2014-2015 (April-March), a source close to the matter said Monday, February 23.

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Tepco's oil consumption for the current fiscal year ending March 31 is seen to be the lowest in more than a decade, according to available company data tracked by Platts since fiscal 2003-2004.

During the period, Tepco's lowest annual oil consumption was 4.04 million kl in 2006-2007, according to the company data.

In February, Tepco is expected to use around 400,000 kl of crude and fuel oil for power generation, down 11% from 450,000 kl planned earlier for the month, as a result of weaker-than-expected power demand in the month, the source said.


Its oil consumption in February is also expected to be down 58% from 954,000 kl in the year-ago period, according to company data.

Tepco's oil use fell in February, although it experienced an unexpected shut down of of the 1-GW No. 2 coal-fired unit at its Hitachinaka power plant in Ibaraki prefecture on February 10 due to steam leakage from a boiler tube.

Its 1 GW Hitachinaka coal-fired remains shut as of Monday.

In March, Tepco plans to use around 400,000 kl of crude and fuel oil for power generation, the source added.

Tepco's annual oil use for power generation has dropped to its lowest level in more than a decade due to slow crude and fuel oil consumption during the summer power demand season over July-September last year.

LOWER LPG USE

The utility's LPG use this fiscal year ending March 31 is expected to be down 53% from 640,000 mt a year earlier, the source said.

In February, Tepco's LPG consumption is expected to fall 17% from January to 30,000 mt due an overall decline in power demand, the source said.

The February LPG consumption would be down 35% year on year from 46,000 mt, the source added.

Tepco plans to use 10,000 mt of LPG for test runs in March but its actual consumption volume was to be determined depending on actual power demand in the month, the source said.

Tepco typically makes prompt purchases of LPG from domestic suppliers when there is an uptick in demand for power generation.

Asian LPG prices on a CFR Japan basis fell to more than five-and-a-half year low on January 13 at $408/mt for propane and $443/mt for butane, Platts data showed.

This was largely due to the slide seen in crude futures, though the delay in Japanese winter buying until late January through February also helped to weaken the market.

Prices started to recover in recent weeks to above $600/mt for propane, largely due to purchases by Japanese importers to fill up stocks depleted by winter heating usage.

--Takeo Kumagai, takeo.kumagai@platts.com
--Edited by Haripriya Banerjee, haripriya.banerjee@platts.com