Kyushu Electric Falls on Reported Delay in Restarts: Tokyo Mover

Kyushu Electric Power Co. dropped the most in almost four months after a report that reactors at its Sendai nuclear plant may not recommence operations until the winter at the earliest.

Kyushu Electric may not submit documents connected to its approval for construction work at the Sendai plant’s Nos. 1 and 2 reactors until late September, which could delay the units’ restart, Kyodo news reported yesterday.

Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority said last month that the units in southern Japan’s Kagoshima prefecture passed safety checks, setting in motion Japan’s readoption of nuclear power after the 2011 Fukushima disaster. The move prompted speculation that the Sendai units could restart as early as the autumn. Absent nuclear capacity, Japan’s utilities have been forced to rely on more expensive fossil fuels, which has hurt profitability.

The construction work documents are a separate part of the safety-approval process that the utility must complete before the units can resume operation, according to the NRA.

Kyushu Electric shares fell as much as 3.5 percent in Tokyo, the most since April 10, and at 11:01 a.m. were down 3.3 percent at 1,124 yen.

The company has no target date for the units’ restart, spokeswoman Naoko Iguchi said yesterday by phone.

Hidetoshi Shioda, a Tokyo-based analyst at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc, said in a report yesterday that he expects the Sendai units to come on-line during the first quarter of 2015.

Kansai Electric Power Co.’s Nos. 3 and 4 reactors at its Takahama plant may be next to resume operation between April and June 2015, Shioda said.

Kyushu Electric may restart two units at its Genkai plant between July and September 2015, while Hokkaido Electric Power Co. could restart its Tomari No. 3 reactor by June 2016, and the plant’s Nos. 1 and 2 reactors by September 2016, he said.

Japan’s operable commercial fleet of 48 reactors is shut for maintenance or safety checks. The last of the reactors was idled in September 2013.

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