Factbox:Japan quake impact on energy, commodities, manufacturers

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 21, 2011 10:14 AM
Factbox:Japan quake impact on energy, commodities, manufacturers

(Reuters) - The following is a roundup of the effect on manufacturers, energy firms and other companies of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck the northeast coast of Japan.

NUCLEAR

- The government said there was a risk of a fresh explosion at the Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, some 240 km (150 miles) north of Tokyo, after the roof blew off a another reactor building the previous day.

- TEPCO has been trying to reduce pressure in the core of both reactors after cooling systems were damaged by the quake. Tens of thousands of residents have been evacuated from the vicinity and evacuees are being tested for radiation exposure.

- Radiation levels rose above the safety limit around TEPCO's nuclear plant and the company informed the government of an "emergency situation", Kyodo agency reported on Sunday. There was no immediate threat to people's health, the company said.

- A similar rise in radiation levels occurred after it released radioactive steam on Saturday from the plant's No.1 reactor to release pressure, also obliging it to notify authorities of an "emergency situation".

- To boost the cooling treatment, TEPCO began filling the damaged No.1 reactor with seawater and used boric acid to prevent the reactor from reaching "criticality", or an uncontrolled nuclear reaction. It was also trying to release pressure at the No. 3 reactor while pumping in seawater to cool it.

- Seven boiling water reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant and the neighboring Fukushima Daini plant, both operated by TEPCO, automatically shut down soon after the quake and subsequent tsunami on Friday.

The other three units had been under planned maintenance.

- A total of 11 reactors at four nuclear plants operated by three firms shut down automatically after the quake, reducing the amount of nuclear power generation capacity in operation to 25,622 megawatts, or 52.3 percent of Japan's total, Reuters calculations show.

- Hokuriku Electric Co said on Friday all three reactors at its Onagawa nuclear plant on the northeast coast shut down automatically after the quake.

- Japan Atomic Power Co automatically shut down the 1,100-megawatt Tokai Daini nuclear plant on the northeast coast, the closest to Tokyo.

UTILITIES

- Power outages were expected in some areas covered by Tokyo Electric Power Co and Tohoku Electric Power Co,to avoid complete blackouts.

- A Trade Ministry official said TEPCO would select five areas of 5 million kilowatts each, and the areas would have planned blackouts of three hours in turn.

- TEPCO said about 270,000 households in the Ibaraki, Tochigi and Chiba areas were without power on Sunday, down from some 4 million immediately after the quake. Help from other utilities totaled 1.6 million kWh, a company spokesman said. After the quake, some 20 million kWh of electricity was lost, compared to supplies of 52 million kWh prior to the quake.

- Electric Power Development (J-Power) halted operations at its 600-megawatt Isogo No.2 thermal plant in Yokohama on Friday after the quake but resumed operations to normal on Saturday, a spokesman said. The 600-MW No.1 plant is shut for regular maintenance.

- Tokyo Gas Co said it had stopped supplying gas to more than 35,000 households and facilities.

- TEPCO said on Sunday it had restarted operations at a 350 MW oil-fired unit in Tokyo.

MANUFACTURING

- Canon said it was discussing whether there it would be possible to re-start production at three plants that were slightly damaged in the quake, one making lenses, another making inkjet printers and a third producing equipment for manufacturing LCD screens.

- Honda Motor Co will keep all its factories closed on Monday, except for a motorcycle plant on the southern island of Kyushu. Honda manufactured 69,170 cars in January in Japan, where it makes 22 percent of its cars.

- Nissan Motor Co halted production at all four of its car assembly factories in Japan and will not re-start on Monday. What happens after that depends on securing a supply of parts as well as repairing facilities, the company said. Nissan made 81,851 cars in January in Japan, where it manufactures 22 percent of its vehicles.

- Panasonic Corp said continuing aftershocks were preventing it from inspecting two factories in northern Japan, one making optical pick-ups and other electronic parts and another making digital cameras and audio equipment. A spokesman said the two locations likely lacked proper power and water supply.

- Sony Corp said operations would be suspended at eight factories in northeast Japan on Monday. One factory, which makes optical film, was flooded and 1,000 workers were trapped there overnight.

- Toshiba said production had been halted at an Iwate factory making System LSI chips used in microprocessors and image sensors. The company has begun work on bringing the factory back on line, but is unsure how long it will take.

- Toyota Motor Co said it had halted production at all its 12 factories in Japan and has not been able to inspect plants in the affected area. Production will not re-start on Monday. Toyota made 234,045 vehicles in January in Japan, where it produces 38 percent of its cars.

Other companies said they had halted plants in the region as workers were evacuated following tsunami warnings or due to power outages. They include Asahi Kasei Corp, GlaxoSmithKline, JSR, Nestle, Nippon Paper Group, Sapporo Breweries Ltd and Morinaga Milk Industry.

REFINERIES

- Cosmo Oil said a fire had broken out near an LPG tank at its Chiba refinery and had not been extinguished by Sunday, though its intensity had lessened. A company official denied that rain could spread harmful chemicals from the fire.

- JX Holdings said a fire at its Sendai refinery originated from a land oil product shipping facility nearby, not an LPG tank as feared earlier.

- JX Holdings has declared force majeure on its refined product supplies as its stocks were depleted and distributions were disrupted. The company said it was working to boost output at its refineries that were still operating and diverting products to domestic use instead of exports to meet a supply shortfall.

- Maruzen Petrochemical said it had shut two naphtha crackers at its Chiba plant with capacities of 480,000 and 690,000 tonnes of ethylene per year, respectively.

- Kyokuto Petroleum said it had closed its 175,000 barrels per day (bpd) Chiba refinery.

- JX Holdings shut its 404,000 tonnes per year Kawasaki naphtha cracker near Tokyo on Friday after the quake.

- Tonengeneral said it had shut the main units at its 335,000-bpd Kawasaki refinery near Tokyo.

- Mitsubishi Chemical said it had halted two naphtha crackers at its Kashima plant after a power outage.

- AOC Holdings said its 140,000-bpd Sodegaura refinery was still operating but it had cut runs of two fluid catalytic cracking units.

Following is a list of the manufacturers and the current status of reactors in the Fukushima Daiichi and Daini plants, excluding those under planned maintenance when the quake struck. Generation capacity is shown in megawatts.

Plant name Unit MW Mfr Status

Fukushima-Daiichi 1 460 GE being filled with sea water

2 784 GE, Toshiba preparing to release pressure

3 784 Toshiba pressure release began on Sunday

Fukushima-Daini 1 1,100 Toshiba ready for pressure release

2 1,100 Hitachi ready for pressure release

3 1,100 Toshiba has been safely cooled

4 1,100 Hitachi ready for pressure release

(Source: Tokyo Electric Power as of 0320 GMT on Sunday)

METALS

- Sumitomo Metal Industries said it had suspended operations at its Kashima steel mill's two blast furnaces after a fire broke out at the plant.

- JFE Steel said it had resumed operations at one of two blast furnaces idled after the quake, and planned to re-start the other later on Sunday. Nippon Steel Corp said it had resumed shipments at all its steel plants except one in northern Japan.

- Pan Pacific Copper said it had halted operations at its Hitachi refinery due to a power outage.

- Mitsui Mining said it had halted operations at its Hachinohe Zinc smelter, and all employees were evacuated.

- Mitsubishi Material said operations at its Onahama copper smelter were suspended due to a power outage.

(Reporting by Risa Maeda, Reiji Murai and Kentaro Sugiyama: Writing by Isabel Reynolds; Editing by Joseph Radford)