Toshiba, IHI to dissolve nuclear power venture

FILE PHOTO: A logo of Toshiba Corp is seen outside an electronics retail store in Tokyo, Japan, February 14, 2017. REUTERS/Toru Hanai/File Photo

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's Toshiba Corp 6502.T and IHI Corp 7013.T have decided to dissolve their joint venture that make turbines for nuclear power plants due to weakened demand following the Fukushima disaster.

The companies set up the venture in 2011 on expectations that construction for nuclear power plants would increase.

But the Fukushima catastrophe that same year - in which a massive earthquake and tsunami triggered a meltdown at a power station on Japan’s northeast coast - has led to a shift away from nuclear and reduced demand for new equipment, Keiichi Sakamoto, an IHI spokesman, said on Friday.

A Toshiba spokeswoman confirmed they would dissolve the venture, called Toshiba IHI Power Systems.

The news was first reported on Friday by the Nikkei business daily, which said the firms would shift towards renewable energy.

Sakamoto said IHI, which makes containment vessels and reactor pressure vessels, will continue its nuclear business.

IHI owns 52 percent of the venture, which has roughly 80 employees, and Toshiba holds the rest.

Reporting by Junko Fujita; additional reporting by Aaron Sheldrick; Editing by Chris Gallagher and Christopher Cushing