There has been a lot of speculation in recent weeks about potential new owners for NuGen and the Moorside Project. Today I am pleased to provide an update on the plans for this exciting project which will bring huge investment and thousands of jobs to Cumbria.
As many of you will know, NuGen and its current shareholder Toshiba have been exploring a range of options to secure the future for the Moorside Project.
After months of talks, we can confirm that KEPCO, South Korea’s largest electric utility company, has been granted ‘preferred bidder status’ for the acquisition of NuGen by Toshiba. In line with NuGen’s long-standing commitment to work in partnership with our local stakeholders across Cumbria, I wanted to take this opportunity to explain what this means and set out what will happen from here.
The announcement that KEPCO has been granted ‘preferred bidder status’ is a significant milestone in the sale process, but, importantly, it does not yet mark the conclusion of the transaction. Teams from KEPCO will now work with Toshiba and the UK Government to consider the proposals and in parallel KEPCO will seek approval from the Government in Korea to enter the UK and acquire NuGen. NuGen does not intend to provide a running commentary during these discussions, but we will continue to work tirelessly to bring these discussions to a successful conclusion so that we can move forward with delivering the Moorside project as soon as possible.
It is vital for the UK Nuclear Industry as well as Cumbria that we succeed – Moorside will deliver the low carbon reliable power this country needs, provide exciting employment opportunities for the next generation of engineers and scientists in Cumbria and create important economic benefits across the region – an investment of this magnitude and importance is essential to our energy security and will ensure we meet our commitments to a low carbon economy in the UK.
Throughout this transition period at NuGen we have continued to ensure that the entire Cumbrian community shares in the benefits from Moorside, and we will continue working with schools on science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) education projects, community groups on environmental projects, volunteering in the community, partnering with local youth charities and implementing our approach to identifying and creating a ‘Sustainable Legacy’ by delivering innovative solution which will help foster entrepreneurialism and aspirational thinking in our communities.
NuGen have also been actively working to help secure a ‘Nuclear Sector Deal’ which will solidify the benefits that will arise from a strong collaboration between Industry and Government. The deal will outline how we can deliver sustainable cost reductions for new nuclear, increase the opportunities for UK manufacturers to participate in the sector, and strengthen efforts to tackle the ongoing skills challenges.
Importantly for the UK, KEPCO are at the forefront of modern nuclear power technology, the first APR1400 went into service over a year ago, with another completed unit due to go online shortly and a further two units under construction. In addition, four more reactors are complete or nearing completion in Abu Dhabi – demonstrating KEPCO’s ability to successfully build new nuclear installations at home and abroad.
We need to take several steps to close the transaction, but KEPCO’s desire to acquire NuGen is a major vote of confidence for Cumbria and for the UK nuclear sector, all parties involved will now dedicate themselves to getting this important deal done.
We have achieved a key milestone towards ensuring Cumbria remains a world leader in the nuclear sector.
CEO, NuGeneration Limited