Tokyo Electric says no plans to sell all uranium stakes
TOKYO (Reuters) - Tokyo Electric Power Co (9501.T) on Monday said it has no plans to sell all the stakes it holds in overseas uranium projects, denying a newspaper report that it would take such a step to raise funds to help victims of the crisis at its Fukushima nuclear plant.
Tokyo Electric is considering selling for a total of several tens of billions of yen its stakes in two uranium mining projects in Kharasan in southern Kazakhstan and the Cigar Lake mine in Canada, the Yomiuri newspaper reported.
The troubled utility, often referred to as Tepco, issued a statement saying it has no plans to sell all the stakes and that acquiring a steady stream of long-term uranium supplies through investments is important in securing stable power output.
When the Kharasan projects reach full production, Tepco should be entitled to obtain a little more than 10 percent of output, or 600 tones of uranium concentrate per year, the report said. That would be nearly 20 percent of the firm's annual needs before the March 11 quake crippled the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, according to the paper.
Tepco has a 5 percent stake in the Cigar Lake project, which would allow it to acquire up to 450 tones of uranium condensate a year.
Tepco is likely to sell the stakes to Japanese firms to help ensure stable energy supplies in Japan, the report added.
(Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Joseph Radford)
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