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Toshiba acquiring majority stakes in UK nuclear firm NuGeneration

The Sydney News.Net Wednesday 15th January, 2014

TOKYO/LONDON - Japan's Toshiba Corporation has reached an agreement with GDF SUEZ of France and Iberdrola of Spain to acquire controlling stake in UK based NuGeneration, which aims to build three nuclear power plants in north-west England, in a deal worth about 102million pounds.


NuGeneration is planning to construct three new nuclear plants at the Moorside site in West Cumbria.

Under an agreement with Iberdrola dated 21 December 2013, Toshiba will purchase all of Iberdrola's indirect 50% holding in the project, while another agreement reached in January 2014 with GDF SUEZ, will see Toshiba acquire a further 10% holding in the project giving Toshiba a 60% stake in NuGen.

Toshiba intends to move forward with the three projects in collaboration with its group company, Westinghouse Electric Company, and in partnership with GDF SUEZ, a leading European nuclear operator, which will hold the remaining 40 percent stake.

The deal is expected to be completed in the first half of the year..

Toshiba shares rose to a six-month high in Tokyo trade following the news.

Toshiba has been looking to develop its overseas nuclear business after the 2011 Fukushima disaster dampened demand in Japan for atomic power.

As a result of the crisis, Japan mothballed its nuclear plants and resorted to importing fuel to meet its energy needs.

However, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has encouraged domestic nuclear firms to look for contracts abroad.

In a statement, Toshiba said the purchase "represents a major investment in the future, and in supporting the UK to meet the challenges of securing a stable, affordable, future energy supply and cutting CO2 emissions."

UK Prime Minister David Cameron has also been pushing to upgrade the UK's electricity infrastructure by the end of the decade.

In October, EdF, Areva and two Chinese nuclear companies agreed to build the country's first new nuclear plant in two decades.

NuGen's Moorside project focuses on the development of a new generation nuclear power station and represents a major investment in the future that will help UK in cutting its carbon emissions.

The three AP1000 units to be built on the site, developed by Westinghouse, will have a combined capacity of 3.4 gigawatts.

"Building on this major development, Toshiba and Westinghouse will seek further opportunities to build AP1000 reactors, the world's most advanced and safest pressurised water reactor design, in Europe and other key geographies," the Japanese diversified manufacturer and marketer of advanced electronic and electrical products and systems said.

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