Plans for a new nuclear power station in Cumbria are on the verge of collapsing after the Toshiba-owned company behind it laid off 60% of its workforce and embarked on a final effort to sell the project. Toshiba was due to sell the NuGen consortium to South Korea state-owned firm Kecpo in early 2018, as the Japanese firm exits international nuclear projects and looks to recoup some of the £400m it has spent on the Moorside plant. However, Kepco has been delaying a final decision, due in part to the UK government signalling a new approach to financing nuclear power stations. That forced NuGen to cut 60 of 100 jobs on Tuesday, following a six-week consultation with staff. Unions said the the project’s problems showed the need for the government to take a stake in Moorside. Justin Bowden, the GMB national secretary, said: “The looming collapse of this vital energy project has been depressingly predictable for months.” The skeleton NuGen team is now focused on clinching a deal with Kepco by the end of the year before Toshiba writes the unit off entirely at the end of March 2019. Success will hinge on whether Kepco buys into a new financing approach for nuclear power plants that the government is exploring, known as the regulated asset base (RAB) model. Officials think it could deliver the government’s nuclear ambitions more cheaply for consumers than alternatives.
Guardian 11th Sept 2018 read more »
The Government is planning to overhaul the way it supports new nuclear power projects after furious criticism of its deal with EDF to build the Hinkley Point C nuclear plant in Somerset. Under the new proposals, known as a regulated asset base (RAB) model, developers could be in line for similar terms as those offered to companies building major multi-billion pound water infrastructure developments. But critics claim the Government must go a step further by taking a stake in the project directly.
Telegraph 11th Sept 2018 read more »
The developer behind a £10bn nuclear plant in Cumbria has announced it is to cut its workforce in half due to delays in the sale of the business.
Construction News 12th Sept 2018 read more »
New Civil Engineer 12th Sept 2018 read more »
BBC 11th Sept 2018 read more »
Reuters 11th Sept 2018 read more »
The deal between Kepco and Toshiba ran into problems after the UK announced in June that it was considering how the funding for new nuclear power plants should be structured. One model under review is for private investors to secure a return on a nuclear plant’s so-called regulated asset base (RAB). In July, Toshiba said it was exploring alternative options for the business and had terminated Kepco’s preferred bidder status. Discussions are ongoing between Kepko, Toshiba and the governments of the UK and Korea as to what exactly a RAB model might entail. While the Korean government is understood to remain keen to progress with the investment because it would give it a foothold in one of the few western nations backing the construction of new reactors, sources indicated that Toshiba was now in talks with other potential buyers. NuGen said on Tuesday that it remains committed to delivering “low-carbon, low cost nuclear power at Moorside”.
FT 11th Sept 2018 read more »
Almost 70 jobs are to go at the company behind the planned Moorside nuclear power station as it refocuses its efforts on finding a buyer to take the wavering £15 billion project forward. NuGen confirmed that its team of around 100 staff and contractors will reduce to 32 following a comprehensive review sparked by delays to a deal between current owners Toshiba and Korean utility Kepco. The review, launched back in July, came after Kepco was stripped of preferred bidder status to buy NuGen. NuGen says it is retaining only a core team of staff to can help Toshiba push through its sale, with a number of other companies understood to be in discussions to buy the company along with Kepco. The company’s chief executive Tom Samson is among the 32 people who will keep their jobs.
Carlisle News & Star 11th Sept 2018 read more »