Toshiba has opened the door to alternative buyers for its British nuclear operations after repeated delays to seal a final agreement with Korea Electric Power Corp, raising doubts over the future of the Moorside nuclear power station in Cumbria. The Japanese group said South Korea’s Kepco no longer had “priority negotiation rights” over the purchase of the NuGen unit and that it would study alternative options in consultation with the UK government and other stakeholders. Talks with Kepco, however, were still continuing over a potential deal, said a spokesperson. Kepco was chosen as the preferred bidder of NuGen in December last year after the unit was put up for sale by Toshiba as part of its wider restructuring in the wake of a financial crisis triggered by losses in its Westinghouse US nuclear business. The expectation at the time had been for a final agreement to be sealed by the middle of this year. The persistent delays, however, have prompted NuGen to undertake a review of its operations, raising the prospect of job losses. The company has around 60 direct employees, mostly based in Manchester, as well as around 40 contractors. NuGen will start a 30-day consultation period from August 1, a spokesperson confirmed on Monday.
FT 31st July 2018 read more »
South Korea’s Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO) no longer has preferred bidder status to buy Toshiba’s NuGen nuclear project in Britain, Toshiba said on Tuesday. “Toshiba continues to consider additional options including the sale of its shares in NuGen to KEPCO, and we are carefully monitoring the situation, in consultation with stakeholders including the UK government,” a spokesperson for Toshiba said in an email to Reuters.
Reuters 31st July 2018 read more »
Korean officials in UK for Moorside talks as NuGen reviews its operation. Cumbrian MPs demand Government help to make sure nuclear new build happens. Korean officials are in Britain this week to talk to the major players behind plans for the £15 billion Moorside nuclear power station. It is understood that representatives from Kepco have flown in to talk to NuGen chiefs and the Government after concerns were raised that negotiations were taking too long. Kepco is the preferred bidder to take over NuGen from Toshiba and it was mooted that the deal would be concluded by September. However, last week, NuGen announced it was restructuring as part of a review because of the “prolonged time” it had taken to seal the deal with the Korean utility. The sale negotiations include the UK government, which recently suggested it would consider giving financial support for a new generation of nuclear power stations to meet the UK’s energy needs and the Korean government, which owns a majority stake in Kepco. Cumbria’s MPs have stepped in to urge the Government to do more to make sure Moorside, which would support thousands of jobs in West Cumbria, goes ahead. Carlisle MP John Stevenson, who will host the Cumbria Nuclear Conference on September 21, said: “The announcement is obviously of great concern and implies that negotiations are not going as hoped. “I have long felt the Government needs to take a more proactive role in Moorside. “They are willing to step in at Wylfa and should do so, possibly in a different way, here.
Carlisle News & star 31st July 2018 read more »
Plans for £10billion nuclear plant to provide 7% of Britain’s electricity may be shelved after talks with foreign buyers collapse. Plans for a £10billion nuclear power plant to provide up to 7 per cent of the UK’s electricity could be abandoned after talks with foreign backers collapsed. The project – led by nuclear development firm NuGen in South Moorside in Cumbria – may be shelved after Japanese owner Toshiba and South Korean state-owned potential buyer Kepco failed to reach a deal.
Daily Mail 1st Aug 2018 read more »
With Toshiba having stripped South Korea’s KEPCO of its ‘preferred-bidder’ status to take over the Moorside new-build project, NuGen’s intrepid Search for Hopeful Investor Team – shoulders hunched and heads down – are back once again on lookout duty scanning the seas for any sign of a new investor heading for West Cumbrian shores. Already discouraged by previous tideline sightings of the washed-up remains of Moorside’s erstwhile investment partners Southern & Scottish Energy (SSE), Spain’s Iberdrola and France’s Engie (formerly GDF Suez), all of whom deserted the Moorside ship to pursue greener pastures, dejected team members had been pinning their hopes on South Korea sailing to the rescue – a rescue that now appears to have been holed beneath the waterline by Toshiba’s latest announcement. It was only just a year ago, with KEPCO then installed as preferred bidder, that NuGen’s CEO Tom Samson was telling ITV Border News and anyone else who’d listen that he was “110 per cent” certain that Moorside would go ahead. Today, as prospects for the development slip closer to oblivion, he must be regretting his bluster as he discovers that his own job and those of other employees who survived previous restructurings of NuGen are ‘on the line’. Few will have much sympathy for their collective plight. For the writing on the wall for Moorside was evident from day one when the original NuGen consortium bought 190 hectares of green field adjacent to Sellafield from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) for £70M in 2009 – despite the land being known to be less than optimum for new-build because of its geology, poor local infrastructure and its remoteness from where its electricity was needed. It was similarly clear that NuGen’s subsequently projected construction and operation timetable for Moorside – building and bringing into operation three Westinghouse AP1000 reactors in just 6 years – was laughably out of kilter with reality.
CORE 31st July 2018 read more »