May 27, 2008 / 10:54 AM / 12 years ago

UPDATE 1-Mitsubishi Heavy to spend $480 mln on nuclear power

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TOKYO, May 27 (Reuters) - Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd (7011.T), Japan’s biggest heavy machinery company, said on Tuesday it planned to spend 50 billion yen ($484 million) by 2010 to double its production capacity for nuclear power reactors.

Reactor makers are riding a wave of nuclear power plant construction in the United States and China amid growing concern about global warming.

Mitsubishi said it expected as many as 130 new nuclear reactors to be built globally by 2030, adding that it aimed for 25-30 percent of the global reactor market by receiving orders and building two reactors a year.

“This is a very conservative estimate,” Akira Sawa, executive vice president of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, told a briefing.

The planned investment includes construction of a new plant in central Japan capable of producing two reactor containers and two internal cores a year.

Mitsubishi, previously an ally of Westinghouse Electric Co., has been strengthening sales of its own 1,700 megawatt pressurised water reactor in the U.S. market since rival Toshiba Corp (6502.T) bought Westinghouse in 2006.

Mitsubishi has so far won an order to build two reactors from U.S. power operator Luminant, a subsidiary of Energy Future Holdings Corp of Dallas, the former TXU Corp.

In April, Toshiba said it was in final talks on orders for up to four nuclear reactors in the United States.

Mitsubishi has also teamed up with France’s Areva SA CEPFi.PA to develop a smaller reactor that can generate about 1,100 megawatts of electricity. (Reporting by Yuko Inoue; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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