Japan's JERA suspends output at 4 gas-fired power plants to secure LNG stocks

(Reuters) - Japan's biggest power generator JERA said it has suspended production at four of its gas-fired power stations and curtailed output at another plant from to secure sufficient LNG inventory.

The move comes as a recent drop in temperatures in the Tokyo area boosted power demand while stormy weather caused delays in the arrival of LNG cargoes, causing a drop in LNG stock levels, a JERA spokesperson said.

Operations were temporarily suspended at power plants in Futtsu, Yokohama, Kawasaki and Chiba, all near Tokyo, and curtailed at Higashi-Ohgishima.

"Since stormy weather was also forecast for the latter half of this week, we have decided to implement planned outages and curtailment," the spokesperson said.

But JERA, one of the world's biggest LNG buyers, plans to bring the plants back to normal operations from Saturday, he said.

LNG storage levels at major utilities stood at 1.95 million metric tons as of March 3, down 15% from the start of February and below the five-year average of 2.13 million tons, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry data showed.

Storage levels fell further to 1.52 million tons as of March 24, according to the data released on Wednesday, the lowest since February 2022, Rystad Energy's Senior Analyst Masanori Odaka said in a note.


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