Tepco eyes selling thermal plants to raise cash

Kyodo

Tokyo Electric Power Co. may sell some of its thermal power plants and shelve plans to build new ones to cover the massive compensation payments arising from the Fukushima nuclear crisis, sources said Wednesday.

Tepco also plans to slash expenditures by an additional ¥100 billion through such efforts as soliciting voluntary retirements among long-serving employees on large salaries. As a result, the cost-cutting plan through fiscal 2020 would increase to ¥2.65 trillion in total.

The new measures will be included in a program for streamlining operations that Tepco and the state-backed Nuclear Damage Liability Facilitation Fund are currently drafting. The program will possibly be announced later this week.

Tepco will consider selling thermal plants that other companies have jointly invested in, while plans to build new thermal power stations would basically be put on the back burner, the sources said. Facilities currently under construction, however, would be exempted from the plan.

Tepco also is expected to increase its purchases of electricity from other power companies, to cover an envisaged reduction in electricity generated by its own power stations.

The utility’s redress payments are projected to reach as much as ¥4.54 trillion by March 2013 because of the massive radioactive fallout from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant disaster.