* To buy Horizon project from Germany's E.ON, RWE -media
* Expected to finalise, announce deal on Tuesday -media
TOKYO Oct 27 Hitachi Ltd, Japan's
largest industrial electronics maker, is close to buying British
nuclear new-build project Horizon in a deal expected to be worth
more than 50 billion yen ($628.46 million), Japanese media said
Horizon, which plans to build 6 gigawatts of nuclear
capacity, was put up for sale by its German owners E.ON AG
and RWE AG in March, as Germany's decision
to pull out of nuclear power hurt the utilities' finances.
Hitachi is expected to hold a board meeting on Tuesday to
approve the deal and officially announce it later that day, both
the Asahi daily newspaper and Kyodo newswire reported, citing
sources familiar with the matter.
Officials at the Japanese engineering firm were not
immediately available to comment on the report.
On Thursday, a RWE official said the firm was in advanced
talks to sell Horizon, after a German newspaper reported that a
consortium led by Hitachi was the front runner for the
Gloucester-based venture which owns two nuclear sites, at
Oldbury near Bristol and Wylfa on Anglesey.
Hitachi, along with Canadian counterparty SNC-Lavalin
, and Westinghouse plus its parent company Toshiba Corp
, have both made bids for Horizon, a source with direct
knowledge of the matter said earlier this month.
In early October, France's Areva dropped out of
the race to buy Horizon after earlier announcing it was bidding
with China Guangdong Nuclear Power Holding.
The British government plans huge growth in its nuclear
industry, with new power stations expected to come on line by
2025 to replace ageing plants, but it has faced various
stumbling blocks, including the Fukushima nuclear crisis
delaying licensing and making projects more costly.
Hitachi, which has two nuclear power joint ventures with
U.S.-based General Electric Co and earns just under 10
percent of revenues from its power systems segment, is slated to
release financial results on Tuesday.