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Moorside nuclear plant backer posts £2.7bn loss

The £10bn Moorside nuclear project has been dealt a further blow after its main backer announced losses of £2.7bn.

Toshiba, which currently holds a 60 per cent stake in Moorside developer JV NuGen, revealed today it was on track to post a loss of 390bn yen (£2.7bn) for the year to 31 March 2017.

The setback comes after Toshiba revealed two weeks ago that it was it was reviewing its investment in nuclear outside of Japan.

The company saw share prices tumble last week after it was revealed its US subsidiary Westinghouse Electric may have overpaid by several billions of dollars when buying US construction firm CB&I Stone & Webster.

Toshiba today asked financial regulators if it could delay the publishing of its earnings report by a month. 

This report will include details of its losses and of the measures it plans to take to tackle its financial problems.

The company’s shares fell by 9 per cent this morning following the announcement, with the company now expected to publish a full report in March.

Reports suggested Toshiba chairman Shigenori Shiga had resigned.

The planned Moorside project would be one of the largest nuclear developments in Europe.

Plans include three AP1000 reactors developed by Westinghouse, producing up to 3.8 GW of capacity – more than 7 per cent of the UK’s energy needs.

During peak construction, the scheme would employ more than 6,500 construction workers, with up to 21,000 jobs expected to be created throughout the plant’s lifetime.

NuGen chief executive Tom Samson said: “The project has made significant progress since Toshiba took over as major shareholder in 2014.

“The site has already been proven as suitable for three Westinghouse AP1000 reactors, two phases of consultation have found the public overwhelmingly supportive of the need for new nuclear and have helped shape the plans for Moorside.

“The UK government is supportive of NuGen as a maturing and highly skilled nuclear organisation, and has remained firmly committed to new nuclear – stating that nuclear has a crucial role to play in securing our future energy needs, especially as we look to move to a low-carbon society.”

French firm Engie holds the remaining 40 per cent of NuGen.

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