Japanese engineering firm Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) said on 24 November that it has decided to withdraw from its nuclear power-related business operations, in order to focus on hydrogen in the firm's energy and environmental solutions sector.

KHI has signed an initial agreement with Japanese nuclear power maintenance service firm Atox to sell its nuclear power equipment businesses for an undisclosed sum. The deal excludes projects for which KHI will receive orders until the transaction closes, which is scheduled to be completed on 1 April 2021. The company also plans to offer its technical support to Atox until 31 March 2023.

KHI has been gearing up efforts to expand its hydrogen business, in line with the country's strategy to increase the use of clean energy to tackle greenhouse gas emissions. The company, together with other eight Japanese firms, are also planning to form a Japan hydrogen association in early December, aiming to develop a strategic value chain for the fuel.

Japan has pledged to achieve net-zero GHG emissions by 2050. The government is now working on plans for hydrogen fuels, battery storage and carbon recycling, while it is looking at all options including renewables, nuclear and hydrogen to meet a possible rise in power demand in a carbon neutral society.