UPDATE 1-Japan utilities burn less thermal fuel in Sept

* Sept crude, fuel oil, coal use drop as power demand falls

* Electricity production drops 9 pct, matching projection

TOKYO, Oct 13 (Reuters) - Japan’s 10 utilities consumed less thermal fuel in September from a year earlier as power generation fell because of weak industry demand.

The utilities burned 270,000 kilolitres of fuel oil last month, 70 percent less than last September, the Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan said on Tuesday.

The utilities generated 75.53 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity in September, down 9.0 percent from a year ago, in line with Reuters projections, and steeper than a fall of 7 percent for August. [ID:nT370920] [ID:nT209737]

Slack power demand and a higher nuclear plant utilisation rate in September compared with a year earlier were seen curbing consumption of fuel used for thermal power generation.

Tokyo Electric Power Co 9501.T said last week its use of fuel oil fell almost 90 percent from a year earlier in September, while its consumption of crude fell by more than half for the month. [ID:nT17218]

The nuclear power plant utilisation rate at Japan’s 10 nuclear power companies averaged 63.7 percent in September, 3.2 percentage points higher than a year earlier, the trade ministry said earlier this month. [ID:nT187712] (Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)