Quake-Hit Unit of Hokkaido Power Plant May Restart Soon


Sapporo, Sept. 24 (Jiji Press)--Hokkaido Electric Power Co. <9509> said Monday it is expected to reactivate the No. 4 generator of its Tomato-Atsuma thermal power plant, damaged by a strong earthquake in early September, by the end of the month at the earliest.

The company started a test-operation of the 700,000-kilowatt No. 4 unit the same day after an inspection found that damage to its turbine is smaller than had been expected.

Previously, the utility said the No. 4 unit will not be brought back into operation at least until November. The much-earlier-than-planned restart will help the recovery of stable electricity supply in Hokkaido, northernmost Japan, which suffered a serious power shortage after a 6.7-magnitude earthquake on Sept. 6.

The Tomato-Atsuma station, the largest thermal power plant in Hokkaido, is located in the town of Atsuma, where the quake measured the highest level of 7 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale.

Of the plant's three generators that came to a halt after the quake, the 350,000-kilowatt No. 1 unit was restarted on Wednesday. The restart of the No. 4 unit, which has the largest output among the three, will push up Hokkaido Electric's supply capacity to 4.61 million kilowatts, in excess of the peak demand of about 4 million kilowatts expected for October and November as calculated from the year-before results.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press