| TOKYO, June 15
TOKYO, June 15 Tokyo Electric Power Co
will work with local government to review the safety of its
Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant, which could mean a later
restart date than planned originally, the company's incoming CEO
The Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant, the world's biggest nuclear
power plant, has been completely offline since 2012 while its
safety procedures are reviewed.
Ryuichi Yoneyama, the governor of Niigata prefecture in
north west Japan where the plant is located, has said he will
not discuss the restart until the review is completed. This
includes a review of the plant's safety, evacuation plans, plus
the impact on health of the radiation released from Fukushima,
which could take until 2020 at the earliest.
"We will cooperate with the review," incoming CEO Tomoaki
Kobayakawa, told reporters on Wednesday.
Tepco presented several options for restarting the plant in
a business plan approved last month, including restarting two of
its seven reactors by March 2020.
Kobayakawa said profits from restarting the plant would
provide a big source of funds to fulfil Tepco's responsibility
for Fukushima and improve the company's value.
Tepco's restructuring plan is designed to cut costs and
boost earnings to repay the bulk of the estimated 21.5 trillion
yen bill from the Fukushima disaster. The plan last month was
the third proposed in the last six years and depends on
generating revenue by resuming output from Kashiwazaki-Kariwa.
Kobayakawa, who is president at Tepco's retail energy
business, will become the CEO of Tokyo Electric Power Co
Holdings after the annual shareholders' meeting on June 23.
He takes over at a difficult time for the company, whose
share of the bill for the Fukushima nuclear disaster, has more
than doubled to about 16 trillion yen ($145 billion).
Tepco is aiming to allocate 500 billion yen in annual
profits in coming decades to pay for decommissioning and
Tepco also wants to reorganise and find domestic partners
for its power transmission and nuclear power businesses within
10 years. But finding partners is expected to be difficult, as
some utilities have ruled out any nuclear tie-ups with Tepco,
which is controlled by the government.
Kobayakawa said the reorganisation will not be possible
without a finding a partner. "We would like to make proposals
after carefully determining what kinds of new value or savings
would be created."
He also said Tepco hoped to expand overseas to offset
declining domestic power demand. Kobayakawa said 1.6 billion
people globally are estimated to have no electricity, half of
them in Africa, which could be a big opportunity.
He said that he did not rule out the possibility of an
initial public offering of fuel venture with Chubu Electric
, JERA, in future to help to raise funds for further
($1 = 110.2200 yen)
(Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori. Editing by Jane Merriman)