Japanese utility Kansai Electric Power Company is to cut its electricity prices for customers by more than 5% on average following the restart of units 3 and 4 of its Ohi nuclear power plant and the subsequent reduction in fuel costs. The company made a similar price cut last August after units 3 and 4 of its Takahama plant resumed commercial operation.
The company announced on 28 May that it will reduce its electricity rates by an average of 5.36%, from JPY17.37 (16 US cents) per kilowatt-hour to JPY16.44/kWh, as of 1 July.
Kansai said this price reduction primarily reflects savings in fuel costs for thermal power generation following the restart of Ohi units 3 and 4. Its fuel costs have fallen from JPY522.5 billion in August 2017 to JPY416.0 billion. Reduced costs resulting from the streamlining of management also contributed to the rate reduction.
Unit 3 of the Ohi plant in Japan’s Fukui Prefecture resumed commercial operation on 10 April, while unit 4 is expected to early next month.
In August last year, Kansai reduced its electricity rates in response to reduced fuel costs for thermal power generation after units 3 and 4 of its Takahama plant, also in Fukui prefecture, resumed operation. Takahama 3 was restarted in June, while unit 4 resumed operation the previous month.
Kansai said that following the restart of Takahama 3 and 4, its nuclear power capacity factor was 22.0%. With the restart of Ohi 3 and 4, this will rise to 48.8%.
The utility has decided to decommission Ohi units 1 and 2, as well as Mihama units 1 and 2. However, it has applied to the Nuclear Regulation Authority to restart Takahama units 1 and 2 and Mihama 3.
“As we earn understanding from the people in the communities where these nuclear power plants are located, we will continuously seek to resume the operation of those that have been confirmed to be safe as soon as possible with safety as a top priority,” Kansai said. “We will also provide an attractive rate menu for customers and further make efforts to upgrade our services to enhance the competitiveness of our electricity both in price and service.”
Source: World Nuclear News