* May revise outlook for nuclear business after Japan energy
* Hitachi Capital, Hitachi Transport System should remain
By Maki Shiraki
TOKYO, Dec 25 Japan's Hitachi Ltd
remains in talks with Lithuania over its plans to build a
nuclear plant after the European country's new centre-left
government said it could shelve nuclear projects, the company's
top executive said on Tuesday.
Hitachi, a century-old conglomerate that designs and builds
nuclear power plants with General Electric Co in two
joint ventures, has shifted its focus overseas as Japan shuns
nuclear energy in the wake of the worst radiation crisis in 25
years at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant last year.
Hitachi's nuclear joint venture had been lined up to supply
a nuclear energy plant to Lithuania under the country's previous
government, which lost power in October.
"There might be a slight lag in the time period, but the
talks have not been completely suspended," Hiroaki Nakanishi,
Chief Executive of Hitachi, said at a press briefing.
Nakanishi said he did not think the worldwide market for
nuclear energy would shrink, but said it was impossible to form
a sales outlook for Hitachi's nuclear business before Japan's
own energy policy has been concluded.
The company has previously said it aimed to reach 360
billion yen ($4.25 billion) in sales in the nuclear business by
fiscal year 2020. Hitachi's power systems division, which
includes its thermal and nuclear power business, logged 832.4
billion yen in sales the year ended March.
The December election victory of Japan's Liberal Democratic
Party, headed by incoming prime minister Shinzo Abe, has fuelled
speculation that the new government would take a friendlier
stance toward nuclear power.
Nakanishi is credited with a sweeping cost-cutting
initiative at Hitachi. The firm is consolidating its 900-plus
subsidiaries as it tries to take on global rivals like GE and
The company most recently merged its thermal power division
with that of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd and
executives from both firms have said they are open to working
together on nuclear power.
Hitachi and Mitsubishi Heavy compete against Toshiba Corp
in thermal power projects in Japan. The three companies
are also rivals in nuclear power projects overseas. Most
recently, Hitachi beat Toshiba and its subsidiary Westinghouse
to a $1.1 billion deal in October to build six nuclear plants in
In a further sign of consolidation, company subsidiaries
Hitachi Metals Ltd and Hitachi Cable Ltd have
said they will merge their businesses next April. Nakanishi said
on Tuesday Hitachi Transport System Ltd and Hitachi
Capital Corp should remain listed separately.
Shares in Hitachi ended up 0.4 percent at 484 yen on
Tuesday, against a 1.4 percent rise on Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei