The Japanese government is poised to guarantee the full amount of loans that three megabanks will extend for a nuclear plant construction project in Britain by Hitachi Ltd., sources familiar with the project said. A group of banks, including the three megabanks and the government-affiliated Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), will extend approximately 1.5 trillion yen in loans to Hitachi’s atomic power station project. Of the amount, the government will fully guarantee loans to be extended by the megabanks, while the governmental Development Bank of Japan (DBJ) will support the project by making capital investments. Chubu Electric Power Co. and other utilities are also considering investing in the project. The state will thus join hands with the private sector in extending all-out support for the project to export a nuclear plant worth some 3 trillion yen. However, concerns have been raised that if the project were to run into the red, taxpayers could be forced to shoulder the burden. The project to be covered with loans and investments is an atomic power station that a Hitachi subsidiary in Britain is aiming to build in Anglesey, Britain. The firm hopes to start operations at the plant in the mid-2020s. Hitachi Ltd. is poised to make a final decision on whether to invest in the project by the end of fiscal 2019. However, Hitachi is consulting with the Japanese and British governments and financial institutions over loans, their guarantees and investment on the grounds that the electronics giant alone cannot take risks. The British government, which is speeding up the construction of nuclear plants, also intends to invest in the project, and Japanese and British Cabinet ministers in charge of energy policy exchanged a memorandum on cooperation in December last year.
Mainichi 3rd Jan 2017 read more »