A South Korean power giant is closing in on a stake in a new Cumbrian nuclear power station after crunch talks with the business department last week. Top executives from Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco) are understood to have been among a delegation that met officials working with Greg Clark, the business secretary, on Thursday. The government is wrestling with how to fund its planned fleet of nuclear power stations. In September, the much-delayed deal with France and China on the £18bn Hinkley Point plant in Somerset was confirmed. Japanese companies are involved in the next projects in the pipeline: the Moorside plant in Cumbria, backed by Toshiba, and Wylfa on Anglesey, to be built by the Hitachi subsidiary Horizon. Last week more details emerged about plans to pump billions of pounds of UK and Japanese taxpayer cash into Horizon, as revealed by The Sunday Times in March. Kepco has long been courted as a potential investor in NuGen, which will construct the Moorside plant, near Sellafield. NuGen is 60%-owned by the cash-strapped engineering giant Toshiba. The rest is owned by Engie (formerly GDF Suez), the French state-backed energy and outsourcing behemoth. Engie has hinted it may back out of the consortium, which could open the door for Kepco. Asia’s biggest economies are competing to gain an edge in the global nuclear industry. China, Japan and Korea hope that building plants here will fuel an export boom for their reactor technology as Britain is widely considered to have one of the world’s toughest regulators.
Times 18th Dec 2016 read more »