March 13, 2011 / 4:19 PM / 9 years ago

TEPCO to conduct rolling blackout amid power shortage

TOKYO (Reuters) - Tokyo Electric Power Co said on Sunday that it would conduct its first-ever rolling blackout from Monday to help prevent an unexpected large-scale power outage after a powerful earthquake shut two nuclear plants indefinitely on Friday.

Blackouts will be conducted in turns at five areas in nine prefectures that it serves, as TEPCO expects peak power demand of 41 million kilowatts for Monday, exceeding supplies by 10 million kw.

A blackout in one area is equivalent to cutting power supplies by about 5 million kw. Planned blackouts will affect 3 million customers, including large factories and buildings, the company said.

TEPCO expects to discontinue the rolling blackout by the end of April, when it can restore 10 million kw worth of power from its thermal power units.

But blackouts will likely be resumed to meet peak demand during the summer even though the company will likely be able to secure 54 million kw of supplies by then, the company said.

Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Chris Gallagher

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