Government may raise cash for £1bn low carbon technology fund by selling stake in uranium company

The government is reported to be exploring the sale of its stake in Urenco, the firm that makes enriched uranium for nuclear power, to help finance the green investment bank that will be used to fund projects such as refurbishing energy-inefficient homes.

In last week’s comprehensive spending review, chancellor George Osborne, said the government would invest £1bn to set up the low carbon technology investment bank.

Speaking to the Guardian, energy secretary Chris Huhne said he was looking at selling the UK’s one-third share in Urenco, a company it jointly owns with the Dutch government and two German power companies, RWE and E.ON. Urenco has recently been valued at £3bn.

However, the move could be controversial with anti-nuclear campaigners, given that it is such a politically and technologically sensitive company.

The £1bn announced last week for establishing a green investment bank was less than many had hoped for and there are question marks over whether it will be enough to attract the private investment needed to deliver the government’s carbon reduction targets.