Jera unveils new gas-fired power unit

Japan's biggest electricity producer has unveiled a new gas-fired unit at a thermal power station in Chiba Prefecture near Tokyo. Jera may put the unit into operation ahead of the scheduled start date in February, to help avoid a power crunch this winter.

The power generation unit has an output of 650,000 kilowatts. That's enough to supply about 1.85 million households.

Jera has adopted leading-edge turbines at its LNG-powered station to increase efficiency and cut emissions.

Japanese utilities are expected to secure a reserve power supply capacity rate of 3 percent this winter. That's the minimum needed for a stable supply nationwide.

But for the first time in seven years, the government is urging households and businesses to conserve electricity. There are fears that excessively cold weather could trigger a spike in demand.