KEPCO Poised to Land UK Nuclear Power Plant Deal

South Korea's state-run utility firm Korea Electric Power Corp. was selected as the preferred bidder in a project to build a nuclear power plant in Britain, sources said Wednesday. Winning NuGen's Moorside project in northwestern England would mark only the second overseas contract for a Kepco-led nuclear power consortium, which is building a plant in the United Arab Emirates.

Kepco had been in negotiations with the troubled Japanese firm for months, along with China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN), and the announcement finally gives some certainty to the project, which is billed as the biggest nuclear plant in western Europe.

Kepco plans to finalise the lifeline investment within months in a major boon for Britain's ambitions for a fleet of new nuclear reactors.

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Toshiba bought out partner Engie to make NuGen a wholly owned subsidiary in July, with an eye to selling the unit. Britain is seeking to maintain its nuclear power generation capacity as part of its efforts to diversify its energy supply. The NuGen project is expected to provide about 7 percent of Britain's electricity but was thrown into doubt after US 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.

A recent report found that the UK's civil nuclear sector contributed £6.4bn to the economy past year.

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