TOKYO, June 23 Japan's demand for direct-burn
crude and fuel oil for power generation this summer will be
10-20 percent lower from a year ago due in part to slow power
demand and utilities raising their reliance on coal, the head of
an industry association said.
Yasushi Kimura, the president of the Petroleum Association
of Japan (PAJ) and also chairman of the nation's biggest oil
refiner JX Holdings, told reporters on Monday that
summer power demand is likely to be down 1 to 2 percent in
kilowatt-hour basis. July and August are peak summer months in
Japan's 10 regional utilities have been stepping up plans to
increase electricity output from coal and natural gas to replace
lost nuclear power, with a prolonged shutdown of reactors
continuing and rising prospects that many units may not come
Japanese utilities curbed their fuel oil and crude oil
consumption by 12.8 percent and 7.3 percent, respectively, last
July, as coal usage rose 15 percent for the month from a year
earlier to a record high, industry data showed.
The utilities also curbed their fuel oil consumption by 27.9
percent last August to 229,000 barrels per day (bpd), while
crude consumption fell by 4.7 percent to 230,000 bpd.
(Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Muralikumar