Uncertainty for NuGen as Toshiba delays earnings announcement

Toshiba, which owns 60% of NuGen the company planning to build a new nuclear power station at Moorside, next to the Sellafield facility in West Cumbria, has delayed its earnings announcement among rumours that the losses it needs to declare on its purchase of nuclear assets from Chicago Bridge and Iron could threaten the company. It is being reported that in light of the losses the company will look to scale back the extent of its nuclear activities and this could include the sale of its stake in NuGen.

A large part of its nuclear business is carried out through its Westinghouse subsidiary which is where the write down lies. It is possible that the retrenchment could see it scaling its nuclear activities back to those in Japan. While it is being reported as the company being dragged down by a lack of earnings in its nuclear division, it is clear that the issue is in its overpaying for the assets it bought from Chicago Bridge which it is now having to write down.

The UK Government will be concerned if any sale of NuGen causes a delay to the project but in the short term this may have an effect on the Parliamentary by-election in Copeland which includes the Moorside site. It is likely that the number of potential buyers for NuGen will be quite limited with the only one currently being talked about being Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO), although a spokesperson for the company was very non-committal.