Business / Corporate

Hitachi to remain in nuclear business after halting plant project in Wales, chairman says

Bloomberg

Hitachi Ltd. plans to remain in the nuclear business, its chairman said, even after suspending a reactor project in the U.K. and as public anxiety over the technology persists.

“When we build up some nuclear power stations, we have to maintain this for 40, 50, 60 years,” Chairman Hiroaki Nakanishi said in a Bloomberg Television interview Wednesday in Davos, Switzerland. “We don’t have any short-term decision.”

Earlier this month, Hitachi suspended indefinitely its plan to build reactors at a site in Wylfa, Wales, and booked a loss of about ¥300 billion ($2.7 billion). The Japanese industrial conglomerate joins other companies such as Toshiba Corp. in looking for growth in other business areas as project costs balloon and demand shrinks following multiple meltdowns at reactors in Fukushima in 2011.

Having sold off some of its train and automotive assets last year, Hitachi has continued to push for expansion of its Lumada platform for implementing “internet of things” technologies. The industrial giant, which makes everything from nuclear power plants to car parts, has said it can use its own manufacturing operations to develop its internet of things platform faster than rivals.

Speaking in an interview during the World Economic Forum, Nakanishi said Hitachi is moving to focus on its solutions-oriented business, and sees this as a key target area for acquisitions.