UPDATE 1-Idemitsu sees Q3 total crude refining down 3 pct y/y
* Idemitsu plans to double C-fuel oil imports y/y
* C-fuel oil demand from Japan utilities to peak in Q3 (Adds details, table)
TOKYO, June 28 (Reuters) - Idemitsu Kosan Co, Japan's third-largest refiner, plans to refine 3 percent less crude in the July-September quarter than a year ago as it maintains a cautious view on domestic demand, except for that of fuel oil by power utilities.
Of its total refining plan of 6.7 million kilolitres, or 458,000 barrels per day (bpd) for the quarter, Idemitsu plans to use about 100,000 kl to produce fuel oil for power utilities.
Idemitsu also said on Thursday it plans to double imports of the same fuel oil type, low sulphur C-fuel oil, from a year earlier, to 700,000 kl to meet strong demand.
As electricity demand peaks in the summer due to air conditioning use, Japan's power utilities are struggling to make up for the loss of nuclear power amid safety concerns after the Fukushima nuclear crisis in March 2011.
"It's been quite a while since we last set a refining target for C-fuel oil," said Ichiro Matsuo, senior manager at Idemitsu's supply planning and coordination section.
"We understand the number of idled reactors will peak in the July-September period. We plan to meet the increased demand primarily with imports like we did before, but we thought there's a risk that we cannot deliver as timely or as much as requested," he told a news conference.
In May, Japan went without nuclear power for the first time since 1970 after reactors shut for routine maintenance. The first restart of a pair of reactors in Kansai Electric Power Co's Ohi plant expected next month is seen as hardly enough to enable Kansai and other utilities to stop burning the costly fuel oil in the summer.
Idemitsu has four refineries in Japan, with total crude refining capacity of 640,000 bpd.
Here is a table of Idemitsu's crude refining plan for July-September and estimate for April-June with percentage changes from a year earlier, with a breakdown of refining for domestic and export markets. Units in bpd are calculated by Reuters.
The company declined to give details of its refining plan for each month during the second quarter.
Month Jul-Sept Yr/Yr Apr-Jun Yr/Yr
Domestic 6.0 mln kl -1 pct 5.8 mln kl +3 pct
Export 700,000 kl -16 pct 500,000 kl +56 pct
Total 6.7 mln kl -3 pct 6.3 mln kl +7 pct
(458,000 bpd) (Reporting by Risa Maeda; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)
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