May 27, 2011

Toshiba shifts from nuclear to renewables


Toshiba (the supplier of Unit 3 at Fukushima and the designer of the new AP1000 nuclear reactor) has announced it will push to expand sales in renewable energy rather than nuclear, as workers fighting to contain radioactive spills at the Fukushima Daiichi plant admitted three of the reactors have now suffered meltdowns. 
According to the company President Norio Sasaki, "If everyone around the world is against nuclear power, there is no point in us saying it is a pillar of our strategy."

The manufacturing giant had planned to expand nuclear sales to 1 trillion yen ($12.3 billion) in four years, but now fears that heightened safety procedures sparked by the ongoing crisis will lead to delays. 


Company president Norio Sasaki told reporters yesterday that Toshiba would aim for sales of 350 billion yen ($4.3 billion) in solar, hydroelectric, geothermal and wind power; 800 billion yen ($9.9 billion) in energy-efficient motors, inverters and batteries; and, after announcing its planned purchase of Landis+Gyr, 900 billion yen ($11.1 billion) in smart grid products.
As a result, Toshiba expects to improve its operating profit two times over, rising from 240.3 billion yen ($2.9 billion) in March this year to 500 billion yen ($6.2 billion) by March 2014.
Toshiba recently suffered a setback in Texas when NRG Energy pulled the plug on two nuclear reactors being built by Toshiba in Texas. 
In October 2009, the main contractor on the project, Toshiba informed the investors that the project was likely to cost $4 billion more than estimated. That news was enough for CPS Energy a 50% stakeholder at the time to pull out, to be replaced by the troubled Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO). 
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