Dec 15 (Reuters) - Toshiba’s U.S. unit Westinghouse is close to announcing plans to buy Spanish utility Iberdrola’s 50 percent stake in British nuclear consortium NuGen for over 100 million pounds ($163 million), the Financial Times reported, citing sources.
The Japanese-owned engineering group will announce the move within days, the paper said on its website, citing people close to the talks. ()
NuGen, a joint venture of Iberdrola and French utility GDF Suez, owns a site at Sellafield on the remote northwest coast of England where it plans to build 3.6 gigawatt of nuclear capacity.
A source told Reuters in September that Iberdrola had been in talks to sell off its stake in NuGen to Westinghouse.
Iberdrola declined to comment, while Toshiba could not be reached outside of regular business hours.
Winning a majority stake in NuGen would give Toshiba a foothold in pro-nuclear Britain, where Hitachi Ltd, Japan’s other nuclear technology supplier, acquired the Horizon nuclear project last year and is planning to build two to three nuclear power plants.
If confirmed, the Westinghouse-NuGen agreement would come two months after Britain’s energy secretary approved a deal with French utility EDF Energy to build the 16 billion pound Hinkley Point atomic power plant in Somerset.
EDF’s long-time Chinese partners, China General Nuclear Corporation and China National Nuclear Corporation, will take a combined stake of 30 to 40 percent in that consortium, while French state-owned nuclear group Areva will take 10 percent.
France’s GDF Suez will hold on to its 50 percent share in NuGen, the FT said.