Japan's oil demand to remain strong after reactor restarts

By REUTERS
June 16, 2012 11:18

 
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TOKYO - Japan's decision to restart two nuclear reactors idled for safety checks after the Fukushima catastrophe won't cut the country's spiraling fossil-fuel import bill unless more atomic units are brought back on line, traders and analysts said.

Japan's fuel purchases soared as reactors were shut down and put through safety checks after the meltdowns at Fukushima in March 2011, dragging the world's third-biggest economy into its first trade deficit in more than three decades.

The reactors at the Ohi plant operated by Kansai Electric Power Co each have a capacity of 1,180 megawatts and restarting them would reduce LNG usage by about 180,000 tonnes per month, according to Reuters calculations.

If the reactors are replacing oil-fired generation, Japan's crude requirements would fall by about 70,000 bpd.

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