TOKYO Nikkei–The cold wave sweeping across Japan is pushing electricity companies close to the edge, with power demand surging to the danger zone of above 90% of capacity at six utilities.At Kyushu Electric Power Co. 9508, power demand on Friday peaked at 14.77 million kilowatts between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. The second-highest so far this winter, the high demand was caused by record-low temperatures in the southern Japan utility’s service area, including 3.4 C below freezing in the city of Fukuoka.With trouble at one of its fossil-fuel power plants exacerbating the situation, peak power demand reached 94% of capacity. To avert power shortages, Kyushu Electric received a total of 2.4 million kilowatts in emergency supplies from Tokyo Electric Power Co. 9501 and five other companies.

But with the colder-than-normal weather forecast to grip Japan for some time to come, the crisis situation will likely continue at Tohoku Electric and other power utilities.

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