* Idemitsu plans to double C-fuel oil imports y/y
* C-fuel oil demand from Japan utilities to peak in Q3
(Adds details, table)
TOKYO, June 28 Idemitsu Kosan Co,
Japan's third-largest refiner, plans to refine 3 percent less
crude in the July-September quarter than a year ago as it
maintains a cautious view on domestic demand, except for that of
fuel oil by power utilities.
Of its total refining plan of 6.7 million kilolitres, or
458,000 barrels per day (bpd) for the quarter, Idemitsu plans to
use about 100,000 kl to produce fuel oil for power utilities.
Idemitsu also said on Thursday it plans to double imports of
the same fuel oil type, low sulphur C-fuel oil, from a year
earlier, to 700,000 kl to meet strong demand.
As electricity demand peaks in the summer due to air
conditioning use, Japan's power utilities are struggling to make
up for the loss of nuclear power amid safety concerns after the
Fukushima nuclear crisis in March 2011.
"It's been quite a while since we last set a refining target
for C-fuel oil," said Ichiro Matsuo, senior manager at
Idemitsu's supply planning and coordination section.
"We understand the number of idled reactors will peak in the
July-September period. We plan to meet the increased demand
primarily with imports like we did before, but we thought
there's a risk that we cannot deliver as timely or as much as
requested," he told a news conference.
In May, Japan went without nuclear power for the first time
since 1970 after reactors shut for routine maintenance. The
first restart of a pair of reactors in Kansai Electric Power
Co's Ohi plant expected next month is seen as hardly
enough to enable Kansai and other utilities to stop burning the
costly fuel oil in the summer.
Idemitsu has four refineries in Japan, with total crude
refining capacity of 640,000 bpd.
Here is a table of Idemitsu's crude refining plan for
July-September and estimate for April-June with percentage
changes from a year earlier, with a breakdown of refining for
domestic and export markets. Units in bpd are calculated by
The company declined to give details of its refining plan
for each month during the second quarter.
Month Jul-Sept Yr/Yr Apr-Jun Yr/Yr
Domestic 6.0 mln kl -1 pct 5.8 mln kl +3 pct
Export 700,000 kl -16 pct 500,000 kl +56 pct
Total 6.7 mln kl -3 pct 6.3 mln kl +7 pct
(Reporting by Risa Maeda; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)