KEPCO selected as preferred bidder for nuclear plant in UK

Marco Green
December 7, 2017

The head of Korea Electric Power Corp. has offered to quit, the company said Thursday, after South Korea's state-run utility firm was selected as the preferred bidder in a project to build a nuclear power plant in Britain. KEPCO's win occurs as South Korea, the world's fifth-biggest nuclear power user, plans to lower its dependence on nuclear power at home mainly due to safety concerns, while continuing its nuclear export drive overseas.

Toshiba Corp., which has a 60 percent stake in the NuGen consortium in charge of building the nuclear power plants in Cumbria, northwest England, picked KEPCO as its preferred bidder Wednesday.

Toshiba holds a 100-percent stake in the project involving the construction of three 3.8 GW nuclear reactors by 2025.

Toshiba acquired Westinghouse Electric Company in 2006 for US$5.4 billion, but recently chose to withdraw from the nuclear power industry after incurring losses. "Toshiba has been engaged with multiple credible and capable parties who have expressed an interest in acquiring NuGen, further testimony of the attractiveness of the nuclear industry in the United Kingdom and an indication of the degree of foreign investment that is ready and willing to enter this market", a NuGen spokesman said.

The official announcement is expected later this week in conjunction with a nuclear conference in Britain.

Kepco representatives have travelled to Japan for direct talks with the chief executive of Toshiba, which now owns NuGen outright.

KEPCO will submit its April 1400 reactor to the British nuclear regulators for review in early 2018 with a goal of generating electricity by the late 2020s.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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