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Tokyo Electric to boost power supply

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Tokyo Electric to boost power supply
Tokyo Electric Power Co said it will be able to supply more electricity than previously expected during the peak summer months by using gas turbines and tapping hydro power, but it will still be short of projected demand.

Japan is scrambling to ease a power shortage that could hobble the economy after last month's devastating earthquake and tsunami shut down several nuclear and thermal stations including Tokyo Electric's crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

The biggest pinch will come in summer when air-conditioning usage peaks.

Tokyo Electric, Asia's largest utility also known as TEPCO, said it now expects to be able to supply 52,000 megawatts of power at the end of July, up from an estimate of 46,500 MW made three weeks ago but less than the company's projected demand of 55,000 MW. Last summer power usage peaked at 60,000 MW.

The new estimate includes 4,000 MW of additional hydro output that will be generated by using surplus electricity during non-peak hours to pump water to higher ground and then releasing it during peak hours to produce electricity.

Tokyo Electric did not incorporate such hydro capacity into its prior estimate because much of it was knocked out of commission after the March 11 quake, and it did not have a clear idea of how much would be available.
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The government has called on TEPCO to prepare 50,000 MW for this summer and planned to meet the remaining shortage of up to 10,000 MW through power reduction targets imposed on businesses and households.
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TEPCO's capacity is set to fall to 50,700 MW at the end of August but the company will consider further steps to bring summer power supplies to 55,000 MW, TEPCO Vice President Takashi Fujimoto told reporters.Good
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"Although Tokyo Electric has made progress, the supply-demand gap has not been filled," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said. "We are still in a situation where we need to ask for the people's cooperation in keeping down electricity consumption during peak time."

Edano said that TEPCO needs to do all it can to boost power supplies and that he asked the firm to report on the results again late next week.

Japan has already announced power reduction targets for Tokyo and northern Japan that will require big manufacturers and other large-scale users to cut peak summer consumption by one-fourth in an effort to avoid rolling blackouts.
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The trade ministry has also called for 20 percent power cuts by small-scale industrial power users served by quake-hit Tokyo Electric and Tohoku Electric Power, while household cuts were set at 15 to 20 percent.

Speaking after the announcement from TEPCO, Trade Minister Banri Kaieda told reporters the ministry was looking to review its power cut targets, Kyodo news agency reported.
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A senior TEPCO official said that the company plans to skip scheduled maintenance shutdowns of its thermal power units in the summer to maximize supplies.

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