Hokkaido Working to Restore Stable Power Supply before Winter

Economy

Sapporo, Sept. 13 (Jiji Press)--The northernmost Japan prefecture of Hokkaido is facing a race against time to restore stable electricity supply, which was disrupted by a powerful earthquake a week ago, as power demand for heating increases in the coming winter.

On Thursday, an idled pumped storage power plant of Hokkaido Electric Power Co. <9509> was partially restarted, increasing the company's power supply capacity by 200,000 kilowatts.

While electricity supply has already been restored almost completely across Hokkaido, the Tomato-Atsuma plant, the largest thermal power plant of Hokkaido Electric, is unlikely to go back to full operations before November.

The full resumption of the Tomato-Atsuma plant in the town of Atsuma, one of the areas hit hardest by the 6.7-magnitude quake, is indispensable for ensuring stable power supply in Hokkaido, one of Japan's four main islands, as the winter is set to start.

"The electricity supply-demand situation in Hokkaido remains on a tightrope," Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said at a press conference in Tokyo on Wednesday, asking local residents and companies to continue power-saving.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press