NuGen’s CEO Tom Samson held a series of meetings with elected representatives and technical and special interest groups in Cumbria to discuss the company’s current transitional phase.
Following recent news on challenges to NuGen’s Moorside project due to shareholder and reactor vendor issues, NuGen initiated a series of face-to-face meetings with communities and representative groups in West Cumbria to discuss the current situation.
Held at Whitehaven Golf club, the Moorside Technical Group (MTG) was followed by an elected members’ briefing where parish council, local authority and county councillors were briefed on NuGen’s plans, and given the opportunity to ask questions about the situation.
Tom Samson set the scene by outlining NuGen’s “tough start to 2017” when the extent of financial issues affecting Toshiba and reactor vendor Westinghouse became apparent.
He said these issues, unconnected to Moorside, had then prompted current shareholder ENGIE to decide to exit the project in line with shareholder agreements.
“At the end of March, it became clear we at NuGen had to take a step back due to these circumstances and revisit some fundamental elements on which we had been building the programme to deliver Moorside.”
“As has been reported we took the decision to “hit the pause button” in order to explore our options to move forward to our objective – which is to deliver the next generation of low-carbon baseload electricity by the mid-2020s, for the benefit of the UK’s future prosperity.”
Mr. Samson said there were a “universe of options” – but that NuGen could not exercise those options unilaterally, and had launched a Strategic Review, sanctioned by the NuGen board and in consultation with the UK Government, to explore a range of options which could include new investors, technology and financing solutions to ensure Moorside is delivered.