Tepco seeks to integrate with other utilities

28 March 2017

Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) is looking to other utilities for help in restructuring power and transmission operations as part of its latest reform plan, hoping for rapid earnings recovery to pay for the post-Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear clean-up.

Tepco and the state-backed Nuclear Damage Compensation and Decommissioning Facilitation Corporation (NDF),  which holds a majority stake in the utility, outlined the latest plan on 22 March. The previous 2014 plan is being updated based on recommendations made in December 2016 by an advisory panel at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (Meti). The framework of the plan will be submitted to Meti for approval sometime in April.

Tepco intends to fundamentally restructure its businesses, including combining operations with other utilities. The expected earnings growth will fund the clean-up effort, which is likely to cost JPY21,500bn ($193bn). Tepco will seek to forge partnerships on electricity transmission and nuclear power. “We will set up an internal system to study possible realignments by summer or so,” said managing executive officer Seiichi Fubasami.

The nuclear industry group the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum (Jaif) said the outline of the plan “clearly indicates openness to proposals from other power companies on reorganisation and integration”. Most major companies, however, worry that if they cooperate with Tepco – effectively under government control – their profits will be tapped to cover compensation costs. For that reason, rules for the government’s involvement and the allocation of costs will be established in the revised plan, Jaif said.

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