Power Failure Feared in TEPCO Areas Tues. Evening

Economy

Tokyo, March 22 (Jiji Press)--Japan's industry ministry warned Tuesday that Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.'s <9501> service areas, including Tokyo and surrounding prefectures, could see a power shortage in the evening unless users curb electricity consumption further.

The development could lead to power failure in many of the TEPCO service areas. The ministry called on households and businesses to "beef up power-saving efforts further" to avoid power failure.

The risk of power failure comes as temperatures fell sharply to cause a hike in demand for electricity for heating amid shutdowns of some thermal power plants blamed on a powerful earthquake that mainly struck the Tohoku northeastern Japan region last Wednesday.

On Monday, the government issued a power shortage warning for the first time, for the TEPCO service areas. The industry ministry issued the same warning also for the service areas of Tohoku Electric Power Co. <9506>. Tohoku Electric asked users to conserve electricity.

Electricity supply in the TEPCO service area is "extremely severe," industry minister Koichi Hagiuda told a press conference Tuesday. He called for "as much cooperation as possible in power saving, to the extent that it does not impede ordinary life."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press