Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Monday it will invest $155 million in a planned expansion of nuclear power plant capacity in Texas, becoming the first Japanese electric company to invest in the nuclear power business overseas.
Through the investment, the nation’s biggest power utility aims to secure stable earnings as domestic electricity demand is unlikely to grow much in the future.
Tepco said it has concluded an agreement with Nuclear Innovation North America LLC to participate in the New York-based company’s project to build two advanced boiling-water reactors, each capable of generating 1.35 million kw of electricity, in Texas.
Tepco said it will acquire a more than 9 percent interest in the reactors to be built under the South Texas Project, the first project in the U.S. to utilize advanced boiling-water technology.
The company plans to be involved in the project from the construction phase by dispatching engineers, as well as in the operation and maintenance of reactors after their completion.
Toshiba Corp. has also signed a construction agreement for the project.
Japanese firms have been failing to win orders for nuclear power plants overseas, such as in Vietnam.
The two Texas reactors are planned to begin operating between 2016 and 2017, Tepco said. The project costs are expected to total from ¥1.1 trillion to ¥1.3 trillion, company officials said.
Nuclear Innovation is a nuclear development company jointly owned by NRG Energy Inc. of the U.S. and Toshiba.
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