Business / Corporate

Chubu Electric eyeing more business in Tokyo area

Kyodo

Chubu Electric Power Co. envisions engaging in electricity retailing and other business operations in the Tokyo area, expanding from the utility’s traditional service area, company President Akihisa Mizuno has said.

A tie-up agreement with Tokyo Electric Power Co. will help Chubu Electric “hold down fuel costs and deploy businesses in the Kanto region (centering on Tokyo) that have relatively high growth potential,” Mizuno said in a recent interview.

The agreement, reached in October, concerns the joint procurement of liquefied natural gas and the replacement of aging thermal power generation facilities.

Chubu Electric plans to use updated power plants to provide electricity to the Tokyo area.

Mizuno, 61, touched on the full liberalization of the household electricity market planned in 2016, saying: “We cannot survive without gaining competitiveness.”

He said the utility plans to attract customers through discounts by offering package deals of electricity and gas from imported liquefied natural gas.

Mizuno said business will remain robust in Southeast Asia and other emerging economies as electricity demand is on the rise.

He stressed the need to restart the company’s Hamaoka nuclear power plant in Shizuoka Prefecture, but declined to state when the company hopes any reactors at that facility will resume operations. Instead, Mizuno reiterated the company plans to submit an application to the Nuclear Regulation Authority for safety checks for reactor 3 at the Hamaoka plant by the end of the current fiscal year in March.

All of Japan’s nuclear plants remain offline due to safety concerns following the 2011 meltdowns at Tepco’s Fukushima No. 1 plant.

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