Hitachi hit’s Japanese government by denying British Nuclear Power access

Hitachi Ltd. said Thursday it has suspended a 3 trillion yen ($27.5 billion) nuclear plant project in Britain and may abandon it completely unless a new financing scheme is introduced, in a serious blow to the growth strategy of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government.

 

Hitachi will book a special loss of 300 billion yen in the year ending in March on the decision to freeze a plan to build two nuclear reactors in Anglesey in Wales, the company said.

 

photo credit to: https://phys.org

The British government and local financial institutions agreed to provide 2 trillion yen in loans but Hitachi has failed to find investors to finance the rest of the project cost which was initially estimated at 2 trillion yen.

 

The decision is the latest setback for Abe who has been pushing infrastructure exports as part of his “Abenomics”Hitachi halts 3 tril. yen British nuclear project in blow to Abe gov’t growth strategy. Exporting nuclear technology is a pillar of the policy amid dimming prospects for new reactors in Japan in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear crisis in 2011.

 

The British nuclear plant was the only remaining major overseas project on the horizon for Japan after other plans in countries such as Vietnam and Lithuania involving Japanese companies were scrapped or halted.

 

The nuclear power industry is facing a tough environment as costs to construct reactors have been on the rise due to stricter safety requirements after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, while costs of power generation through renewable energy have been falling.

 

Toshiba Corp. decided in 2017 to exit the nuclear power business outside Japan after incurring huge losses in the United States, while Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. is considering withdrawing from a nuclear project in Turkey amid ballooning safety-related costs, according to company sources.

 

Higashihara did not rule out the possibility of restarting the British project but that depends on negotiations with the British government on more financial assistance, he said. Even if the project is resumed, it would require considerable cost and time as a broad review would be necessary.

 

Reference: Hitachi halts 3 tril. yen British nuclear project in blow to Abe gov’t

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