Unplanned shutdowns of a nuclear reactor and a coal fired power plant have left Western Japan’s electricity supply 1.2 per cent below forecast peak demand for August, said Japan’s trade ministry.

Kansai Electric Power Co’s 1175 MW Ohi No.1 nuclear reactor and Chugoku Electric Power Co’s 1000 MW Misumi coal fired unit have come offline, erasing a slender 1.7 per cent surplus over expected peak August demand, reported Reuters.

Kansai Electric, which is also due to shut two reactors for planned maintenance this week, now faces a 6.2 per cent shortfall, while the region’s other four utilities have only marginal surpluses.

To prevent blackouts the Japanese government has asked customers of Kansai Electric, the nation’s second-biggest utility which serves Osaka and surrounding areas, to cut their peak summer power use by at least 10 per cent from last summer’s levels.

For more market intelligence news click here