Sale talks for Cumbria site stall
The future of the £10bn Moorside nuclear power station in Cumbria has been thrown into doubt yet again after South Korean state-owned Kepco lost its preferred bidder status to buy Toshiba’s UK nuclear project called NuGen.
Toshiba told Kepco last month that it made the decision in order to “have opportunities to negotiate with Kepco as well as other companies”.
Kepco was chosen as preferred bidder last December but delays in concluding the deal – including a change of chief executive at Kepco and a new government in Seoul – mean up to 100 staff may be laid off.
NuGen was originally a joint venture between Toshiba and French multinational Engie but ran into trouble last year when Toshiba’s US subsidiary Westinghouse – which had been due to supply the nuclear reactor for Moorside – filed for bankruptcy.
Engie then pulled out of the consortium NuGen, leaving Toshiba to search for new investors.
Kepco was chosen as preferred bidder ahead of China General Nuclear.
Last month, a report to the government by the National Infrastructure Commission said the UK should only proceed with the construction of one more nuclear power plant after Hinkley Point C prompting concern the advice would spook overseas investors.
The NIC said up to 90% of energy should be renewable by 2050 instead.