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Doorstep Interview with Minister Seko (excerpted version)

*Note: This is a provisional translation for reference purpose only.

11:58 a.m. - 12:05 p.m.
Thursday, September 6, 2018
Front Entrance Hall, METI

Opening Remarks

We have just received a report from Hokkaido Electric Power Company that, this morning, while they were working on restarting the Tomato-atsuma Thermal Power Station, the largest thermal power plant in Hokkaido, a fire was discovered near the turbine. The boilers were damaged at Units 1 and 2 as well. Therefore, it is likely to take at least a week or more to restart the Tomato-atsuma Power Station.

In response to this situation, in addition to approximately 300 thousand kilowatts of hydroelectric power generation in the prefecture which is already set up in place of Tomato-atsuma Thermal Power Station, they are currently working on restarting the Sunagawa Thermal Power Station, which produces 250 thousand kilowatts, at the earliest possible time by the end of the day today.

They will also promptly restart other thermal power generation plants such as Naie Thermal Power Station which produces 350 thousand kilowatts, Date Thermal Power Station at 700 thousand kilowatts and Shiriuchi Thermal Power Station at 700 thousand kilowatts at the earliest possible time, and before the end of the day tomorrow. In addition, they will use the Hokkaido–Honshu HVDC (high voltage direct current) Link, or Kitahon Renkei for short, to provide Hokkaido with 600 thousand kilowatts from the Honshu side. With these measures, we expect to be able to supply approximately 2.9 million kilowatts by the end of tomorrow.

However, since Hokkaido's peak electricity demand reached 3.8 million kilowatts yesterday, even if such measures are taken, it is likely to take at least a week or more before all areas of Hokkaido recover completely. As there is a possibility that the suspended power situation may continue in some areas, they will promptly deploy power supply vehicles to supply electricity to important facilities such as hospitals.

We are currently requesting that not only Hokkaido Electric Power Co., but also Tohoku Electric Power Co. and Tokyo Electric Power Co. prepare to dispatch power supply vehicles. I have again instructed them to take such measures promptly.

We have also requested cooperation from other electric power companies. The government is making all efforts to provide our full support, including necessary supplies in addition to electric power.

To all the people in Hokkaido, we understand that you are faced with significant inconvenience until the power is restored, but the government and Hokkaido Electric Power Co. will do our utmost to resolve the situation, so I would like to ask for your understanding and cooperation.

Last updated:2018-09-06