Hitachi to freeze UK nuclear power project, post £1.6 billion special loss – Nikkei

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FILE PHOTO: A logo of Hitachi Ltd. is pictured at the CEATEC JAPAN 2017 (Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies) at the Makuhari Messe in Chiba, Japan, October 2, 2017. REUTERS/Toru Hanai/File Photo

TOKYO (Reuters) – Hitachi Ltd (6501.T) has decided to freeze its 3 trillion yen (21.7 billion pounds) nuclear project in Britain and to post a special loss of about $2 billion (1.6 billion pounds) for the year ending in March, the Nikkei business daily reported on Friday.

Hitachi is set to vote on the planned suspension at its board meeting next week, the Nikkei said without citing sources.

Hitachi’s Horizon Nuclear Power unit has struggled to find investors for its plans to build a new power plant in northern Wales.

Hitachi said the asset value of the plant in Wales was 296 billion yen as of the end of September. The special loss from freezing the project is expected to be 200 billion to 300 billion yen, according to the Nikkei.

A Hitachi spokesman said nothing has been decided on the suspension.

Hitachi was hoping a group of Japanese investors and the British government would each take a one-third stake in the equity portion of the project. A company source has said the project would be financed one-third by equity, two-thirds by debt.

The Nikkei report comes after another Japanese industrial conglomerate, Toshiba Corp (6502.T), scrapped its British NuGen project after its U.S. reactor unit Westinghouse went bankrupt and it failed to sell NuGen to South Korea’s Korea Electric Power Corp.

Shares of Hitachi rose by as much as 6 percent on the Tokyo stock exchange after the report.

Reporting by Makiko Yamazaki; editing by Richard Pullin and Christian Schmollinger

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