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Kansai Electric Estimates Safety Measures to Cost $3.1 Billion

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Jan. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Kansai Electric Power Co., which supplies Japan’s second-biggest metropolitan area, may have to spend at least 285 billion yen ($3.1 billion) to improve the safety of its nuclear-power plants, President Makoto Yagi said.

The nation’s most nuclear-reliant utility may have to further increase the expenditure to meet the Nuclear Regulation Authority’s new safety standards for atomic-power stations, Yagi told reporters today in Tokyo, without giving comparable a number or a timeline.

Kansai Electric, based in Osaka, asked for higher electricity rates in November to cover the rising cost of fuel firing its thermal power plants while most of its reactors remained offline. Under the regulator’s new requirements to be implemented in July, Kansai Electric and its peers must implement additional safety measures before restarting their reactors.

Of the estimated spending, Kansai Electric plans to invest about 195 billion yen in the three years ending March 2016, according to the utility’s plan submitted to the government. Under Japanese law, the three-year investment cost would be passed on to customers, should the government approve Kansai Electric’s rate-increase request.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tsuyoshi Inajima in Tokyo at tinajima@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jason Rogers at jrogers73@bloomberg.net; Peter Langan at plangan@bloomberg.net

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