Power firms’ spending to rise 0.2% in 2000

Capital investment by 10 regional electric power companies and the Electric Power Development Co. will grow only 0.1 percent, to 3.552 trillion yen, in fiscal 2000 as power demand remains weak, the Natural Resources and Energy Agency said Friday.

According to the fiscal 2000 investment programs of the firms, 13 nuclear reactors will start operating by fiscal 2010, down from 20 reactors in the fiscal 1999 programs.

The government has set a target of between 16 and 20 nuclear reactors starting operations by fiscal 2010.

Japan’s overall demand for electricity in fiscal 2000 will increase 0.3 percent from the current fiscal year to 818.1 billion kilowatt-hours, following an estimated 2.1 percent gain in fiscal 1999.

In the period between fiscal 1998 and fiscal 2009, demand for electricity is projected to increase at an annual average of 1.8 percent to 972.3 billion kwh in fiscal 2009, the agency said.

Electricity demand in fiscal 1998 was 799.0 billion kwh.