Korean firm in talks to take equity stake in $13bn UK nuclear scheme

The Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco) is negotiating to buy into the £10bn ($13bn) scheme to build a nuclear power station in northwest England, according to sources close to the negotiations quoted in the Financial Times on Monday, 12 September.

The Moorside power station, which will have a generating capacity of about 3.8GW, is due to be built close to the Sellafield site on the Cumbrian coast. The project is being developed by NuGen, a joint venture between Toshiba of Japan and Engie (formerly GDF Suez) of France, using three of Toshiba-Westinghouse’s AP1000 reactors.

State-owned Kepco first entered into talks to join the NuGen team three years ago, although these eventually stalled.

John Musk, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets, told the Telegraph newspaper that it would be "entirely logical" for Engie to sell some of all of its stake in NuGen. The company is engaged in a €10bn disposal programme, and nuclear is not "front and centre of its strategy", according to Musk.

According to the Financial Times, South Korea has set itself the goal of becoming the world’s third-largest exporter of nuclear reactors by 2030, and has already won a $20bn contract in Abu Dhabi.

The Moorside project was given the green light by the UK government in June 2011. Site investigation work commenced in August 2014, and the scheme is now undergoing public consultation. NuGen hopes to begin electricity generation in 2025.

Image: FaulknerBrown’s design for a visitor centre at the Moorside site (FaulknerBrown)

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  1. Should we (Britiain) be allowing foreign countries to have such major stakes in our energy and infrastructure, surely there is a massive security risk especially with countries like China & South Korea?

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