October 28, 2019 / 10:49 AM / 17 days ago

Tokyo Electric to give financial help to Japan Atomic Power

TOKYO (Reuters) - Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings (9501.T) said on Monday it would provide financial support to Japan Atomic Power Co (Japco) [JATOM.UL] to help it take safety measures needed to restart its Tokai Daini nuclear power plant near Tokyo.

Late last year, Japan’s nuclear regulator approved an operations extension for the 40-year-old Tokai Daini reactor, which was damaged in the same earthquake and tsunami that sparked the Fukushima disaster in 2011.

The approval was a boost for the operator, Japco, which is owned by the country’s main utilities and is bleeding cash because of the shutdown of its two nuclear power units.

“We have decided on Monday to offer financial support to Japan Atomic Power as we have figured it would make economic sense as we would be receiving low-cost power with low CO2 emissions,” Masashi Nagasawa, managing executive officer at Tokyo Electric, told an earnings news conference.

But he declined to say how much financial help it would provide to the operator.

Japco also declined to comment on details of the deal.

Earlier this month, Japanese media reported that Japco had asked for a total of 350 billion yen (2.5 billion pounds) in financial support to five utilities: Tokyo Electric, Tohoku Electric Power (9506.T), Chubu Electric Power (9502.T), Kansai Electric Power (9503.T) and Hokuriku Electric Power (9505.T).

A Japco spokesman confirmed it had asked for financial help this month for Tokyo Electric and Tohoku Electric, which buy power from Tokai Daini, but declined to comment on whether it had asked for similar support for three other utilities which buy power from Japco’s other reactor, Tsuruga No.2, in western Japan.

Japco aims to complete safety upgrades of its main facilities by March 2021, the spokesman said.

Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Editing by David Holmes

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