Japan’s ENEOS sees winter fuel demand increase 150%, can only meet 100% increase

Japan’s largest refiner, ENEOS, is currently experiencing a 150% year-on-year increase in the electricity sector’s fuel oil demand for the winter, but can only meet a 100% increase, said on November 25 the president of ENEOS Holdings, Tsutomu Sugimori.

Speaking to reporters as chairman of the Japan Petroleum Association, Sugimori said ENEOS receives many inquiries from electric utilities regarding fuel oil supply for the winter due to the prices. high LNG.

Sugimori’s comments came after company president Katsuyuki Ota said on November 11 that ENEOS was receiving a large number of requests from electric utilities for fuel oil, fearing that refiners across the country could be not able to meet all demands for the coming winter.

In January, Japanese refiners increased the supply of fuel oil to generators following an emergency request from the Federation of Electricity Companies of Japan. This came as Japan faced an electricity shortage as demand increased during periods of extreme cold in January, as local electric utilities were forced to restrict gas-fired power generation due to the low LNG stocks.

This has been exacerbated by problems in coal-fired power plants, low hydropower generation due to droughts, fluctuations in solar power generation due to weather conditions, reduced oil-fired power generation capacity and low production of nuclear energy.

Domestic fuel oil sales rose 43 percent year-on-year to 179,585 bpd in January, according to data from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. There was also a shipment of 751,109 barrels of crude oil for power generation, nearly double the 429,323 barrels of December 2020, and after no shipment of crude for power generation in January 2020.

In February, fuel oil sales fell 20.2% month-on-month and 4.3% year-on-year to 143,370 bpd, as demand for petroleum for electricity fell as LNG stocks were rebuilt. in mid-February, according to METI data. Shipments of crude oil for electrical consumption fell to 112,613 barrels in February.

Japan’s fuel oil imports jumped to 798,641 barrels in January and 1.27 million barrels in February, from 164,157 barrels in December 2020, according to METI data. Imports of fuel oil fell to 149,917 barrels in March as demand for heating declined.
Source: Platts

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Felix J. Dixon