Kepco seeks to buy Toshiba unit behind United Kingdom nuclear project

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Kepco seeks to buy Toshiba unit behind United Kingdom nuclear project

South Korea's sole utility provider has been selected as the preferred bidder for the Moorside nuclear power plant project in the United Kingdom, a source familiar with the matter told The Korea Herald on December 6.

The massive Moorside project was thrown into doubt when main backer Toshiba ran into financial problems and warned it was calling time on all future planned nuclear power station projects.

The partially state-owned utility known as Kepco said Wednesday it had been awarded preferential negotiating rights on purchasing a stake in the wholly owned Toshiba unit, whose future has become uncertain in light of the Japanese conglomerate's dire financial troubles and the bankruptcy of its former USA nuclear subsidiary, Westinghouse Electric.

The Japanese industrial giant has a 100 percent stake in the NuGen consortium in charge of building the nuclear power plant in Britain.

A former vice minister of trade, industry and energy, Cho also served as the president of the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency and the Korea Trade Insurance Corp.

Britain has launched a program to inject more into its energy sector, as many of its nuclear reactors are coming to the end of their operational life cycles.

Cho's intention to resign comes just one day after KEPCO was selected as the preferred bidder in a project to build three nuclear power plants in Britain. I was pleased to meet with the South Korean company's senior leaders during the summer and was able to convey the many reasons for investing in West Cumbria, not least, a 70-year track record of leading the world's nuclear expertise.

KEPCO plans to put together a consortium and expects to sign the final deal next year.

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