KEPCO Poised to Land UK Nuclear Power Plant Deal

South Korea's KEPCO picked as preferred bidder for UK nuclear project

An announcement naming Korean conglomerate Kepco as the preferred bidder for the Moorside nuclear power plant project and noting that the company is expected to purchase developer NuGen from Toshiba, is expected later this week, the Korea Herald reported Tuesday.

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.

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Cho Hwan-eik said he thought that by stepping down he can "pave the way" for the younger generation and he is pleased to "leave the company in good spirits", as KEPCO is one step closer to winning a deal to build two nuclear reactors in Moorside, northwest England.

While the new administration under President Moon Jae-in has promised a policy of abandoning nuclear power generation domestically, it has urged the business world to export the technology overseas.

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The company said that the acquisition of stake will be subject to a number of factors, including satisfactory completion of negotiation with Toshiba. The GDA approval process typically takes about four years. The NuGen project is expected to provide about 7 percent of Britain's electricity but was thrown into doubt after USA company Westinghouse declared bankruptcy and its partner in the project, France's Engie, pulled out. 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. It will only get paid when the reactor is completed through proceeds from electricity sales.

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