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NuGen searches for a buyer for Moorside nuclear project   NuClear News Sept 18 Kepco, the Korean state-owned nuclear company, which was looking at rescuing the troubled Nugen project at Moorside has strong reservations about the proposed funding model – the Regulated Asset Base (RAB) model. The company is no longer the leading bidder, and according to the Korean press prefers the Contract for Difference (CfD) deal given to EDF for Hinkley C. (1)

 Sources in Korea blame the shift in Government policy on support for new nuclear for delaying the deal between Kepco and Toshiba. The Korea Herald, a daily English language newspaper based in Seoul, quoted a Korean government official who claims that the deal for NuGen is being renegotiated because the UK government’s decision to “change profit models for the project”. (2)

Toshiba has opened the door to alternative buyers for NuGen, raising doubts over the future of Moorside. Talks with Kepco, however, are still continuing, despite Kepco being stripped of its preferred bidder status. (3)

 Cumbrian MPs have been demanding Government help to make sure nuclear new build happens. Trudy Harrison, Tory MP for Copeland said: “The Government must take a proactive stance. Nuclear new build is not commercially viable without Government support. It is now time for Government to get a grip on our energy policy. In Cumbria we have the skills and experience.” Mrs Harrison is setting up a Moorside strategic partnership, with representatives from Sellafield, Cumbria LEP and councils.

 Sue Hayman, Labour MP for Workington, has written to the Government to ask them to act immediately over NuGen. She is co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Nuclear Energy. “NuGen is now in the last chance saloon. The Government must act now or it will be too late, and West Cumbria will not get the 20,000 jobs, economic investment and infrastructure improvements that depend on Moorside.”

Barrow’s MP, John Woodcock, now sitting as an Independent says: “We cannot wait much longer for the government to step in and rescue the stalled £15billion Moorside project”. (4)

 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. Around 100 staff and contractor jobs, including that of chief executive Tom Samson, are at risk under the restructuring plans. (5)

Toshiba has set a deadline to secure a deal by the end of September, according to the Financial Times. The Company is believed to have spent hundreds of millions of pounds on developing the site so far. It was forced to pay close to $139m to buy a 40% stake held by France’s Engie last year. 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. But it has said the investment must pass a “national audit” test before it can proceed. Kepco wants to deploy two of its APR-1400 reactors at Moorside to generate a combined electricity of about 3GW – close to 7% of Britain’s electricity needs. Kepco said it was “too early” to say whether it would be able to meet the criteria for the audit. (6)

Meanwhile, NuGen has provided information to support the Moorside site in Cumbria being carried forward into the UK government’s new national policy statement as a site for a new nuclear power plant. NuGen CEO Tom Samson said, “NuGen remains committed to delivering a nuclear power station at Moorside in Cumbria.” (7)


September 10, 2018 - Posted by | business and costs, politics, UK

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