Central Japan water leak affects plants near Toyota hub

A Toyota logo is displayed at the 89th Geneva International Motor Show in Geneva, Switzerland March 5, 2019. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/Files

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TOKYO, May 18 (Reuters) – A major water leak in central Japan on Wednesday disrupted supply to more than 130 businesses near the production centre of Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T).

The accident in Japan’s manufacturing heartland threatened interruptions at major auto firms and power companies.

A Toyota spokesperson said the company was using well water at its factories to cope with the shutdown. JERA, Japan’s biggest power generator, said water supply had been halted at two plants.

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The major leakage occurred at the Meiji Irrigation Works earlier in the day, affecting supply to the Anjo Water Treatment Plant in Aichi Prefecture, Central Japan, according to a statement from officials. The outage had affected supply to 131 businesses, mainly in the auto sector, the statement said.

Supply had not completely stopped as of 11:15 a.m., an official at Aichi Public Enterprise Bureau told Reuters, adding it was uncertain when the disruption would be fixed.

The cause of the leak was still being investigated, and workers were trying to stem the flow by pouring crushed stones into the affected area, an official of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said at an online briefing.

Toyota would be able to operate as usual for Wednesday and would monitor the situation after that, the spokesperson said.

Denso Corp (6902.T), a major Toyota supplier, said five of its factories in the area had tapped into water storage to continue operations. It would deploy water supply trucks and use well water if needed, a company spokesperson said.

Some major assembly lines at Toyota’s factories in the area had already planned to suspend production, prior to the water supply issue, due to a parts shortage stemming from the COVID-19 lockdown in Shanghai. read more

Toyota Industries Corp (6201.T) said five of its plants were saving water and using storage water to circumvent the industrial water supply problem.

Osaka Gas Co (9532.T) would suspend operation at two thermal power plants in the prefecture due to the water suspension, Kyodo News reported.

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Reporting by Satoshi Sugiyama, Rocky Swift and Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Bradley Perrett

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

source: reuters.com