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Toshiba nearing deal on Bulgarian nuclear reactor deal

03 july 2014, 10:20
©Reuters/Shohei Miyano
©Reuters/Shohei Miyano

Toshiba's US unit is nearing a deal estimated at almost $5 billion to build a nuclear reactor in Bulgaria, as Japanese firms eye atomic contracts overseas after the Fukushima crisis erased demand at home, AFP reports.

The Japanese giant's subsidiary, Westinghouse Electric, is in the final stages of talks with Bulgarian Energy Holding for a mid-sized reactor expected to be running by around 2025, the leading Nikkei business daily reported.

The price tag for the project is estimated at about 500 billion yen ($4.9 billion).

Westinghouse may also take a stake in the Bulgarian firm's nuclear power unit as part of the deal, the paper added without citing sources.

A Toshiba spokeswoman in Tokyo said the two sides were closing in on a deal, but added that talks "are still continuing and no details have been decided yet".

The report comes as some European nations are looking to cut their reliance on Russia for their energy needs as the Ukraine crisis rumbles on.

Japanese engineering giants including Toshiba, Hitachi and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries have been eyeing opportunities abroad as they try to rekindle an atomic business hammered by the 2011 Fukushima crisis.

The country's nuclear reactors have been shuttered since a quake-sparked tsunami slammed into the Fukushima plant, sending reactors into meltdown and setting off the worst atomic accident in a generation.

Last year, Japan and Turkey agreed on a long-awaited deal to build a sprawling nuclear power plant on the Black Sea coast, marking the first order for Japan's atomic sector since the 2011 tragedy.

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