Toshiba has reached an agreement to acquire a 60% stake in NuGeneration (NuGen), a joint venture (JV) formed by GDF Suez and Iberdrola to build three Westinghouse AP1000 nuclear reactors in West Cumbria, the UK.
Under the transaction, Toshiba and Westinghouse, working in partnership with GDF Suez, will move forward with the construction of three nuclear reactors on the Moorside site.
Westinghouse Springfields will manufacture the fuel at its facility near Preston in north-west England for the new AP1000 reactors.
The transaction comprises two deals with the first one signed between Toshiba and Iberdrola wherein the former agreed to acquire the latter's indirect 50% holding in the project, while the second deal was signed with GDF Suez to acquire a further 10% holding in the project.
The transaction, worth £102m, which gives Toshiba a 60% stake in NuGen, is subject to adjustment, while final agreements are subject to obtaining the relevant authorisations and consents and other required processes.
In February 2009, GDF Suez and Iberdrola forged a JV deal to develop nuclear power stations in the UK and the JV had secured an option to buy land from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority to develop a project near Sellafield on the West Cumbrian coast for £70m in October 2009.
In December 2011, NuGen named the project as Moorside, which calls for the development of a new generation nuclear power station with three units totalling up to 3.6GW in West Cumbria.
Construction of these new units will create many skilled jobs over the next decade, significantly boosting local, regional and national UK economies.
The developers expect to begin commercial operations of the first unit in 2024 and the entire plant is expected to deliver around 7% of the electricity requirements in the UK when complete.
GMB, the nuclear sector workers union, has said that it will hold talks with the developers to ensure that the construction and manufacturing supply chain and the local community benefit from the project.
Image: NuGen's Moorside project will feature three nuclear reactors. Photo: courtesy of GMB.