Toshiba takes full control of Cumbria's new nuclear company

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Artist's impressions of what the Moorside power plant might look like.
Artist's impressions of what the Moorside power plant might look like.
27 July 2017 6:31PM

Toshiba has taken full control of NuGen, the company behind plans for a £10bn Cumbrian nuclear new build.

It has completed the purchase of the 40 per cent stake in the firm - with plans for a power plant at Moorside, near Sellafield - which formerly belonged to French firm ENGIE.

Added to the 60 per cent Toshiba already held, the Japanese giant is now the company's sole owner.

This deal was completed for 15.9bn yen (£108.8m) and had to be completed because of legal agreements after Westinghouse Electric, Toshiba's former nuclear subsidiary, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the USA.

This amount included the cost of achieving Government approval for the Westinghouse AP1000 reactor, three of which are set to be installed at Moorside.

In a statement released to investors Toshiba said: "Toshiba will continue to look for investors interested in investing in NuGen and to consider the sale of its holding in the company. Toshiba will provide prompt disclosure of information as and when necessary."

Earlier this year this Toshiba expressed "substantial doubt" about its ability to continue as a going concern because it is forecast to make a multi-billion pound loss for the last financial year.

Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco) confirmed last month that the company was in discussions with Toshiba to buy into NuGen.

Jong-hyuck Park, its chief nuclear officer, said at a conference in London: "We will be a long-term partner for the strategic delivery of the Moorside project."

One sticking point in Kepco becoming involved in the Moorside project is thought to be that the Westinghouse AP1000 reactor. Kepco uses a different technology, of its own design and manufacture.

This may not pose a challenge now after NuGen announced a "strategic review" of Moorside, which has included a look into what technology is used.

Tom Samson, NuGen's chief executive, has said there had been "global interest" in buying into NuGen but also thinks there will be "one buyer".

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