NuGen 'remains committed' to Moorside nuclear plant
NUGEN says it "remains committed" to plans for a nuclear power station in Cumbria, despite the crisis affecting its majority shareholder Toshiba.
Forty per cent was wiped off the Japanese company's value in the last week of 2016 after it said that its US subsidiary, Westinghouse Electric, may have overpaid by several billions of dollars for another nuclear construction and services business.
To compound matters, the company is embroiled in an accounting scandal.
Its shares plunged to 259 yen (£1.81) on Thursday before staging a modest recovery on Friday. Yesterday they settled at slightly more than 277 yen when the Tokyo stock exchange closed.
Toshiba holds a 60 per cent stake in developer NuGen, alongside ENGIE of France.
They are due to decide next year whether to proceed. If the do, a £10bn power station will be constructed at Moorside, Sellafield.
The credit agency Moody's has downgraded Toshiba's ratings and warned that the writedown could affect the company's ability to pay its debts.
But a spokesman for NuGen said: “NuGen’s shareholders [Toshiba and ENGIE] remain committed to the development of our Moorside project.
"NuGen is actively engaged in exploring a universe of investment opportunities to bring in additional investments, including debt and equity, to help fund the construction of Europe’s largest new nuclear power station."
He added: "NuGen welcomed the recent signing of a memorandum of cooperation between the UK and Japanese governments.
"The agreement shows confidence in the progress and deliverability of Moorside and commitment to nuclear as a solution to meeting the UK’s low carbon electricity requirements.”
NuGen has been seeking further backers for the scheme and is understood to have held talks about investment from the Korea Electrical Power Corporation.
If Moorside does go ahead, Westinghouse, once owned by British Nuclear Fuels, would supply three reactors.
They would have a capacity of up to 3.8GW, enough to supply 7.5 per cent of the UK's electricity.