“Obviously today is a sad day for NuGen, despite our best efforts to find a solution and despite the tremendous hard work and commitment from everyone involved in our journey this far, we have been unable to find a buyer and the decision to wind-up the business was an inevitable one for Toshiba.
I must, however, express my heartfelt appreciation for Toshiba’s support and endurance on this turbulent journey. They have demonstrated the highest levels of professionalism at all times in this process and reaching this point is as much of a disappointment to the nuclear team in Toshiba as it is to us in Manchester and Cumbria. We are immensely grateful to Toshiba’s contribution to our new build efforts and support of the UK supply chain and I wish them well in their future business aspirations.
Many questions will be asked about why NuGen has been unable to find a buyer and continue forward at Moorside and I think there is really one very simple reason – that we were caught between a series of unplanned and uncontrollable events.
The bankruptcy of Westinghouse and Chapter 11 was the start of our sale process and that process was further complicated by the emergence of a potential new policy framework from the UK Government to finance nuclear new build, the Regulated Asset Base – so called RAB model – in the midst of that sale process. Unfortunately, given that the RAB model is still in early stages of development, has not been determined as policy yet and still faces a lengthy legislative process before it can be applied to new nuclear, it has not proven possible to find a buyer willing to take that level of policy and legislative risk when entering the UK; hence we have been unable to bring an acquisition to a conclusion.
Ultimately the RAB model is the right answer for sustaining a nuclear new build programme, the RAB will address the immense financial risks that nuclear developers are asked to take and in securing an enduring policy framework, the Government through the imposition of the RAB will enable the UK sector for the long term – sadly this will not come in time for NuGen.
NuGen is winding-up when the need for new nuclear in the UK is clear and the delivery of the Government’s Industrial Strategy could not be more important for Cumbria.
These factors highlight the challenges when the solutions we are pursuing to deliver economic and energy prosperity for the country are so heavily reliant upon foreign investment and foreign decision making. If there is one thing positive that can emerge from the NuGen wind-up, it is perhaps that it can act as an important reminder and strong signal that we need UK industry leadership, and a clear and enduring policy framework to drive these important projects forward, in order that the UK can deliver on the vital low carbon projects which will have such a meaningful impact on our future.
The most significant aspect of my disappointment is related to the impact this will have on Cumbria. NuGen has been intrinsically linked with future opportunity and prosperity in Cumbria, the transformational economic effects of Moorside on local education, apprenticeships, jobs, regional infrastructure, supply chain growth, entrepreneurialism and aspirational opportunity are enormous, and we sincerely hope that a solution for Moorside can be found to fill the inevitable gap that our wind-up will create in those communities across Cumbria and more widely across the Northern Powerhouse.
Finally, despite the sad outcome for NuGen, I remain resolute in my personal belief in the importance of nuclear as an integral and essential part of our future energy mix as a country and we must find solutions to the new nuclear challenge if we are to have any hope of meeting our goal of delivering a low carbon fleet in the UK.”
Chief Executive Officer, NuGeneration Limited