Kansai Electric Power Company

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For the South Korean electric utility company, see Korea Electric Power Corporation.
The Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc.
Native name 関西電力株式会社
Type Public kabushiki gaisha
Traded as TYO: 9503
OSE: 9503
NSE: 9503
Industry Electric utility
Predecessors
  • Kansai Haiden
  • Nippon Hassoden KK
Founded Osaka, Japan (1 May 1951 (1951-05-01))
Headquarters Nakanoshima, Kita-ku, Osaka, Japan
Area served
  • Kansai region (ex. Fukuura and Ako in Hyogo Prefecture)
  • West of Mihama in Fukui Prefecture
  • Southern area of Mie Prefecture
  • Part of the area of Sekigahara, Gifu Prefecture
Key people
  • Shosuke Mori (Chair)
  • Makoto Yagi (President)
Products Electrical power
Revenue Increase ¥2,811,424 million (FY 2011)[* 1]
Operating income Decrease ¥-229,388 million (FY 2011)[* 1]
Profit Decrease ¥-242,257 million (FY 2011)[* 1]
Total assets Increase ¥7,521,352 million (FY 2011)[* 1]
Total equity Decrease ¥1,529,843 million (FY 2011)[* 1]
Owners
Employees 32,961 (consolidated, as of 31 March 2012)
Subsidiaries
  • Kanden-el-farm, Inc.
  • Kanden Energy Development Co., Inc.
  • Kanden Energy Solution Co., Inc.
  • Kansai Multimedia Service Company
  • Kanden System Solutions Co., Inc.
  • K-opticom Corporation
  • Kinden Corporation
Website www.kepco.co.jp/english/
Footnotes / references
  1. ^ a b c d e "Financial Release for the year ended March 31, 2012" (PDF). The Kansai Electric Power Company, Inc. 27 April 2012. Retrieved 29 April 2012. 
Kansai Electric Power Company Building (taller one) in Kita-ku, Osaka, Japan
The top of the building is lit up like a light bulb at night

The Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc. (関西電力株式会社 Kansai Denryoku Kabushiki-gaisha?, KEPCO), also known as Kanden (関電?), is an electric utility with its operational area of Kansai region, Japan (including the Kobe-Osaka-Kyoto megalopolis).

The Kansai region is Japan’s second-largest industrial area, and in normal times, its most nuclear-reliant. Before the Fukushima nuclear disaster, a band of 11 nuclear reactors — north of the major cities Osaka and Kyoto — supplied almost 50 percent of the region’s power.

As of January 2012, only one of those reactors was still running.[1] In March 2012, the last reactor was taken off the powergrid.

Power plants[edit]

Kansai Electric Power Company has 164 plants with a total production capacity of 35,760 MW.

Nuclear[edit]

Name Location Generation capacity (MW)
Mihama Fukui 1,666
Ōi Fukui 4,710
Takahama Fukui 3,392

Thermal[edit]

Name Generation capacity (MW)
Akō 1,200
Aioi 1,125
Himeji-1 1,442
Himeji-2 2,550
Takasago 900
Nanko, Osaka 1,800
Maizuru 900
Gobo 1,800
Sakai 2,000
Tanagawa, Misaki 1,200
Kainan 2,100
Miyazu 750

Hydro[edit]

Name Generation capacity (MW)
Kurobe-4 (Kurobe Dam) 335
Others (147 plants) 818

Accidents and incidents[edit]

Mihama accident in 2004[edit]

On 9 August 2004, KEPCO reported that five of its employees were killed by a steam burst at the Mihama Nuclear Power Plant in Fukui Prefecture. The burst, according to KEPCO, was due to the neglect of mandated safety checks and there was no release of radioactivity.

2006[edit]

On 22 March 2006, the AP reported that 2 employees were injured in a four hour fire. The fire apparently started in an area of the facility where ash is packed into steel barrels. Some of the waste processed in that area contains low levels of radiation, but monitors outside the facility have shown no signs of leakage. All four pressurized water reactors were operating normally at the time.

2011[edit]

The Kansai region is Japan’s second-largest industrial area, and in normal times, its most nuclear-reliant. Before the Fukushima nuclear disaster, a band of 11 nuclear reactors — north of the major cities Osaka and Kyoto — supplied almost 50 percent of the region’s power. But as of January 2012, only one of those reactors is still running. Meanwhile, power company employees are racing to reassure Japanese that plants are safe and necessary. In 2012, officials from Kansai Electric Power Co., "have gone door to door in towns that host its nuclear plants, conducting polls and answering questions".[1]

Promoting nuclear power[edit]

A member of the town assembly of Takahama, Fukui: Tomio Yamamoto received as president of the real estate company OHC Fukui, over 100 million yen for the rent of an unused factory over four years from 2006 to 2010 from a subsidiary of Kansai Electric Power Co. (KEPCO) The factory was used for storage, but the rent was unusually high, almost double the market price. The money was apparently paid in return for promoting nuclear power. In September 2010 an opinion statement to reactivate the nuclear reactors was proposed by Akio Awano, the vice speaker of the town assembly. Yamamoto and two other town assembly members did sign the proposal before it was submitted to the assembly.[2]

Opposition to the dependence on nuclear power[edit]

In August 2011 citizens of the prefecture Shiga, at the banks of Lake Biwa, started a lawsuit at the Otsu District Court, and asked a court order to prevent the restart of seven reactors operated by Kansai Electric Power Company, in the prefecture Fukui.[3]

On 27 February 2012 three Kansai cities, Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe, jointly asked Kansai Electric Power Co. to break its dependence on nuclear power. In a letter to KEPCO they also requested to disclose information on the demand and supply of electricity, and for lower and stable prices. The three cities were stockholders of the plant: Osaka owned 9% of the shares, while Kobe had 3% and Kyoto 0.45%. Toru Hashimoto, the mayor of Osaka, announced a proposal to minimize the dependence on nuclear power for the shareholders meeting in June 2012.[4]

On 18 March 2012 the city of Osaka decided as largest shareholder of Kansai Electric Power Co, that at the next shareholders-meeting in June 2012 it would demand a series of changes:

  • that Kansai Electric would be split into two companies, separating power generation from power transmission
  • a reduction of the number of the utility's executives and employees.
  • the implementation of absolutely secure measurements to ensuring the safety of the nuclear facilities.
  • the disposing of spent fuel.
  • the installation of new kind of thermal power generation to secure non-nuclear supply of energy.
  • selling all unnecessary assets including the stock holdings of KEPCO.

In this action Osaka had secured the support of two other cities and shareholders: Kyoto and Kobe, but with their combined voting-rights of 12.5 percent they were not certain of the ultimate outcome, because for this two-thirds of the shareholders would be needed to agree.to revise the corporate charter.[5]

At a meeting held on 10 April 2012 by the "energy strategy council", formed by the city of Osaka and the governments of the prefectures, it became clear that at the end of the fiscal year 2011 some 69 employees of Kansai Electric Power Company were former public servants. "Amakudari" is the Japanese name for this practice: hiring officials that formerly controlled and supervised the firm: among these people were:

  • 13 ex-officials of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism
  • 3 ex-officials of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry,
  • 2 ex-officials of the Ministry of the Environment,
  • 16 former policemen,
  • 13 former civil engineers.
  • 16 former policemen,
  • 10 ex-firefighters

Besides this, it became known that Kansai Electric had done about 600 external financial donations, to a total sum of about 1.695 billion yen:

  • 70 donations were paid to local governments: to a total of 699 million yen
  • 100 donations to public-service organizations: 443 million yen,
  • 430 donations to various organizations and foundations: a total of 553 million yen

During this meeting some 8 conditions were compiled, that needed to be fulfilled before a restart of the No.3 and No.4 reactors Oi Nuclear Power Plant:

  • the consent of the local people and government within 100 kilometer from the plant
  • the installation of a new independent regulatory agency
  • a nuclear safety agreement
  • the establishment of new nuclear safety standards
  • stress tests and evaluations based on these new safety rules [6]

On 14 September 2013, the day before the no. 4 Oi reactor was scheduled to closed down for regular inspections, some 9000 demonstrators gathered at the Kameido Chuo Park and later marched close to JR Kinshicho Station and the Tokyo Skytree. They called for an end of Japan's dependency on nuclear power.[7] The day after the Oi-reactor closed down, leaving Japan without any nuclear power for the third time in 40 years.[8]

Business results[edit]

Over the business year 2011-2012, which ends in March, Kansai Electric Power Co. was expected to suffer a loss of 250 billion yen or more, because of the growing fuel cost for thermal power generation. In the business year 2009 the net loss was 8.7 billion yen.[9]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]