NAGOYA, Japan (Reuters) - Japan’s Chubu Electric said on Monday that the closure of its Hamaoka nuclear plant could push its earnings into the red due to extra costs of procuring gas and other alternative fuels to make up for the loss of its sole nuclear power source.
It estimated the Hamaoka halt would shave 250 billion yen ($3.1 billion) from its earnings in the 2011/12 fiscal year to March 2012 if the lost power is all covered by gas-thermal plants.
Trade Minister Banri Kaieda said he would meet Chubu Electric President Akihisa Mizuno to discuss details of government financial support for the central Japan utility.
Chubu Electric said it would take several days to shut down the Hamaoka No. 4 and 5 reactors, in line with a request from the prime minister. The No. 3 reactor, shut for repairs, will remain halted, while the No. 1 and 2 reactors have been shut permanently.
($1 = 80.630 Japanese Yen)
Reporting by Risa Maeda; Writing by Edmund Klamann and Chikako Mogi