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Hitachi powers through with nuclear export business

Company aims for British plant to be operational in 2020

TOKYO -- Hitachi's nuclear energy subsidiary in the U.K. has submitted an application to authorities to build and run a nuclear power plant in Anglesey, Wales, the Japanese company announced Wednesday.

Hitachi is proceeding with its nuclear power business abroad despite Toshiba's troubles from its overseas nuclear power business.

The application was submitted to the U.K. Office for Nuclear Regulation by Horizon Nuclear Power, which Hitachi acquired in 2012. Horizon plans to have the plant operational by the first half of 2020.

Construction is set to begin in the second half of 2019 if permission is received by the end of 2018. Hitachi plans to supply two of its advanced boiling water reactors to the plant.

Hitachi purchased Horizon in hopes of expanding its overseas nuclear power business. The Japanese company is targeting sales of 280 billion yen ($2.53 billion) in fiscal 2020 for its nuclear energy business, up from 150 billion yen in estimated sales in fiscal 2016. Of that amount, the company wants to raise foreign sales from 1 billion yen to 100 billion. This project is an essential element in Hitachi's overseas expansion plans.

The Japanese government also considers the Anglesey plant an important project for Japan's nuclear energy export business and has pledged its financial support. Toshiba subsidiary Westinghouse Electric, one of the world's largest nuclear power companies, recently filed for bankruptcy in the U.S. after it incurred heavy losses. Whether Hitachi's current project will proceed smoothly is likely to be a test for the future of Japan's nuclear power sector.

(Nikkei)

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