Factbox: Japan quake impact on energy, commodities and ports

(Reuters) – The following is a roundup of the effect on the energy and commodities sector of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck the northeast coast of Japan.

UTILITIES

– Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co (9501.T: Quote, Profile, Research) (TEPCO) says plutonium — a by-product of atomic reactions and also used in nuclear bombs — has been found at low-risk levels in five places at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.

– Fires, explosions and radiation leaks have repeatedly forced engineers at the six-reactor Fukushima nuclear complex to suspend work, including on Sunday when radiation levels spiked to 100,000 times above normal

– A partial meltdown of fuel rods inside the reactor vessel was responsible for the high levels of radiation at reactor No. 2.

– Tokyo Gas (9531.T: Quote, Profile, Research) diverts an unspecified volume of liquefied natural gas to TEPCO to make up for the lost output from two nuclear plants.

– Kansai Electric Power Co (9503.T: Quote, Profile, Research) will supply crude oil to fuel-short Tokyo Electric Power and delay the restart of two reactors currently under maintenance after problems at TEPCO’s nuclear facilities in Fukushima.

– TEPCO expects it power supply capacity for the summer to reach 46,500 megawatts, excluding hydro power using pumped water, nearly 10,000 MW less than projected peak demand, which is expected to hit 55,000 MW even after taking into account users’ efforts at power saving.

– TEPCO shut the 1,000 MW No. 1 unit at its Higashi Ogishima thermal plant in Kawasaki, a day after it was restarted, due to a fuel leak.

– TEPCO will restart mothballed power units at the Yokosuka plant, totaling 900 megawatts.

– Kashima Kyodo Electric Power Co does not yet have a schedule for the restart of its 1,050 megawatt power plant as the facility is damaged and is suffering from blackouts.

– Tohoku Electric (9506.T: Quote, Profile, Research) aims to restart a mothballed 350-megawatt liquefied natural gas and oil-fired power generation unit at the Higashi Niigata plant in early June due to power shortages.

REFINERIES

– Japan will allow the release of an additional 22 days’ worth of oil stocks from privately held reserves in a bid to ease energy shortages. Japan is making available a total of 10 million kilolitres of oil, or 66 million barrels.

– JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp, an oil refining unit of JX Holdings (5020.T: Quote, Profile, Research), boosts oil product output at its Mizushima refinery by a further 19,800 bpd to 400,000 bpd in the wake of a supply shortage. The firm had already raised output by 30,000 bpd.

– JX Holdings expects to restart its 404,000 tones per year Kawasaki naphtha cracker near Tokyo by the end of March.

– JX Nippon Oil said it expects to take a considerable amount of time before restarting the 145,000 bpd Sendai and 252,500 bpd Kashima refineries, both of which sustained major damage. The firm has resumed operations at its Negishi refinery in Yokohama.

– Cosmo Oil (5007.T: Quote, Profile, Research) extinguishes a fire at its 220,000 bpd Chiba refinery, but is not yet sure when it will restart normal operations.

– Showa Shell Sekiyu KK (5002.T: Quote, Profile, Research) said that it has started full output at its four group refineries as part of efforts to ease a severe supply shortage. Total capacity at the refineries is 655,000 bpd.

– Oil product output in Japan will recover to 3.4 million barrels per day by the end of March, a level above domestic demand, as idled refineries resume operations, said an oil industry body.

– AOC Holdings (5017.T: Quote, Profile, Research) says its refiner Fuji Oil Co has increased runs at the two fluid catalytic cracking units at its 140,000 bpd Sodegaura refinery.

METALS

– Sumitmo Metal Industries (5405.T: Quote, Profile, Research) resumes operations at the last remaining blast furnace at the 8.3 million tone-a-year Kashima works north of Tokyo.

– Chilean miner Codelco plans to ship an additional 10,000 to 20,000 tones of copper cathodes to Japan.

– Mitsubishi (6503.T: Quote, Profile, Research) (5711.T: Quote, Profile, Research), Furukawa (5801.T: Quote, Profile, Research) and Dowa (5714.T: Quote, Profile, Research) declare force majeure on shipments from the Onahama copper smelter.

– Mitsui Mining and Smelting Co (5706.T: Quote, Profile, Research) plans to boost zinc production at two factories in western Japan after operations at its Hachinohe zinc smelter were halted.

– Toho Zinc Co (5707.T: Quote, Profile, Research) stops operations at its 139,200 tones per year Annaka zinc smelter and Onahama plant, which is used to treat zinc for smelting.

– Nippon Steel’s small Kamaishi plant, which had produced 60,000 tones a month of downstream steel products, remains shut.

PORTS

– Seven small oil terminals and most of the shipping berths in the quake-hit northeast remain closed.

– All 15 key ports damaged by the March 11 disaster reopen for recovery efforts, but access is limited. Only 30 percent of the 208 shipping berths at the facilities are open.

– A terminal operated by Mitsubishi Chemical (4188.T: Quote, Profile, Research) is likely to stay shut for months, while inspections are being conducted at facilities run by Shin Etsu Chemical (4063.T: Quote, Profile, Research), Kashima Denkai, Kashima Kyobi and Kashima Oil.

– JX Nippon Oil & Energy’s terminal at the Port of Sendai and Onahama Petroleum’s loading facility at Onahama are also closed and it is not known when operations will resume.

– Cosmo Oil’s terminal at the port of Chiba has resumed some vessel cargo operations, but onshore facility work remains. The firm’s terminal was the only one damaged at Japan’s top oil and LNG port.

– Two piers at the medium-sized Onahama seaport in Fukushima prefecture are now available for 30,000 tone vessels.

(Compiled by Randy Fabi in Singapore; Editing by Editing by Himani Sarkar)

Factbox: Japan quake impact on energy, commodities and ports