CORE comments on Toshiba’s delayed decision on Moorside. Given that the world’s financial markets are widely speculating today that the delay can only result in the subsequent release of a far worse set of financial figures than already reported by Toshiba – a melt-down primarily brought about by the chronic performance of its subsidiary Westinghouse at the two AP1000 construction sites in the US. CORE’s spokesman Martin Forwood has commented today: ‘It is more than fitting that coming exactly 88 years to the day after gangster Al Capone snuffed out members of a rival street gang in Chicago in the notorious Valentine’s Day Massacre, Toshiba’s announcement may already have wiped out 60% of the NuGen gang on Valentine’s Day 2017 or soon after’. This may well go down in history as the Moorside Massacre, but does not mean that West Cumbria has been swept clean of the gangster threat once and for all. The cigars, pin-stripe three piece suits and buttonholes may no longer be seen on the streets of Whitehaven, Workington or Millom but, as with all gang warfare, there will be new hoodlums waiting in the side side-streets and playgrounds to plug the holes inevitably left by Toshiba’s tommy guns. The French gang Engie – known to be keen to leave the new-build mob to fight another day in the rival renewable energies outfit – could cross the street at any moment. In that event, the Japanese banking fraternity could step in and of course there are always the UK Government’s well-known Westminster Wideboys lurking in the shadows, keen to muscle into the financial fray with UK citizen’s money to save NuGen, but widely known to switch gang allegiance at the drop of a fedora hat or the merest whiff of a new reactor. And last but not least there’s the brotherhood from South Korea in the shape of KEPCO, still struggling to shake off corruption and bribery scandals but clearly tooled up and raring to get a piece of the action on the UK’s remote western shores where other desperados have wisely feared to tread.
CORE 14th Feb 2017 read more »
It seems scarcely believable that anything in this quiet US rural town, about 30 miles south of Augusta, could have brought one of Japan’s greatest industrial companies to its knees. But the reactors under construction at Plant Vogtle just outside Waynesboro are at the heart of the greatest crisis in the 141-year history of Toshiba. Westinghouse, Toshiba’s US-based nuclear engineering subsidiary, is building at Vogtle two of its new AP1000 reactors, a “generation III plus” design that was intended to be the flagship of its expansion into markets around the world. Two more are being built about a hundred miles away in South Carolina at a plant ca lled VC Summer. At both sites, the new plants are taking shape. In December, a 1,100-tonne steel ring 40 metres in diameter that forms part of the reactor containment vessel was lowered into place for the first new unit at Vogtle. The equivalent component at Summer was also lowered into place last weekend. Yet all this progress is too little, too late. The projects are already more than three years behind schedule and, on a combined basis, more than $10bn over their original budgets. This week the timetable for the Summer project was pushed back again, and there were warnings that construction at Vogtle could also slip further. It is these problems that lie behind Toshiba’s announcement on Tuesday that it is planning to book a $6.3bn writedown on its US nuclear business, which will propel the group to a net loss of ¥390bn for the year to March 31, although there is still uncertainty about these figures, partly because they have not been audited.
FT 17th Feb 2017 read more »
Japanese conglomerate Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has ruled out rescuing Toshiba’s stricken nuclear reactor business, warning there are too many differences between their respective technologies to make a tie-up possible. Analysts have suggested Toshiba may need to partner with another Japanese company that has nuclear capabilities such as MHI or Hitachi in order to survive, after its future was called into question on Tuesday by a $6.3bn writedown on its US reactor business. But in an interview with The Financial Times, Shunichi Miyanaga, MHI president and chief executive, dismissed coming to Toshiba’s aid.
FT 16th Feb 2017 read more »
Shares in troubled conglomerate Toshiba dived again Friday as Standard & Poor’s warned it may cut its credit rating while a possible saviour of the Japanese firm’s loss-hit nuclear unit reportedly ruled out any rescue deal. Investors have sliced more than 20 percent off its Tokyo-listed stock this week as Toshiba, one of Japan’s best-known firms, warned of huge losses and possible accounting fraud at its US nuclear arm Westinghouse Electric. On Friday, shares plunged 9.2 percent to end the day 184 yen ($1.62) with worries swirling that the firm will be booted off the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s prestigious first section as its finances deteriorate. S&P said it may downgrade the conglomerate’s credit rating again, while Shunichi Miyanaga, the head of Japanese industrial giant Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), told the Financial Times that he had ruled out a rescue of Toshiba’s ailing nuclear unit. There has been speculation Toshiba may need to join forces with another firm involved in atomic power to keep the business from crashing.
France24 17th Feb 2017 read more »