Tepco to seek 10% hike in household charges-Nikkei

TOKYO, March 4 Sat Mar 3, 2012 10:27pm EST

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TOKYO, March 4 (Reuters) - Tokyo Electric will seek a 10 percent rise in electricity charges on households as the owner of the tsunami-struck Fukushima nuclear plant tries to shore up its finances, the Nikkei business daily reported on Sunday.

A request for higher charges on household from July will be included in a business plan that the utility, known as Tepco, and a state-sponsored fund, the Nuclear Damage Liability Fund, are drawing up, the Nikkei said. It did not say where it obtained the information.

Tepco is set to submit the plan to trade and industry minister Yukio Edano in March. It is expected to outline how it aims to rebuild operations as well as ask for a public fund injection to keep the company afloat and supply power to some 45 million people.

The business plan will pledge to trim operating costs by 3 trillion yen ($37 billion) over the next decade, the Nikkei said.

The Japanese government is set to take a majority stake in Tokyo Electric in return for injecting about 1 trillion yen in public funds, the Asahi newspaper reported on Friday.

Edano, who oversees energy policy, and Japan's biggest power company have been fighting over how much say the government will have in the its management in exchange for what would be one of the world's biggest bailouts outside the banking sector.

Edano will likely consent to power charge hikes, but below the 10 percent that Tokyo Electric is seeking, the Nikkei said. ($1 = 81.5500 Japanese yen) (Reporting by Tim Kelly; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)

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