KEPCO Poised to Land UK Nuclear Power Plant Deal

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Korea Electric Power, or Kepco, said on Thursday its President Cho Hwan-eik would resign tomorrow, with the news coming a day after the state-owned utility was awarded preferential negotiation rights for the purchase of Toshiba's nuclear power business in the United Kingdom.

President Cho Hwan-eik of the Korea Electric Power Corp. will resign later this week, more than three months ahead of his term which expires in March next year, the state-run utility firm said Thursday.

Expected to account for approximately 7% of the future electricity requirements in the country, the £10bn ($17bn) Moorside nuclear power plant is being developed by NuGeneration (NuGen), a joint venture between Toshiba with 60% stake and GDF SUEZ with 40% interest. Toshiba's Westinghouse was initially expected to provide the reactor technology which already has GDA approval.

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Kepco released a statement this morning and said it was undertaking due diligence on legal, financial, accounting and technological issues, and reviewing project risks. "NuGen and its shareholder Toshiba are exploring a range of options for funding the Moorside project, which includes Toshiba selling some or all its shareholding in NuGen", he added.

Toshiba in 2006 took over the USA -based Westinghouse Electric Company for five-point-four billion dollars. Nugen's chief executive told Reuters in October that a new delivery plan would be set up by the new owners but the plant should still be up and running before 2030. The construction of the reactors with a total capacity of approximately 3 GW is scheduled to be completed in 2030.