Kepco, a state-owned South Korean energy firm to take over construction of UK’s Moorside nuclear power project

Kepco, a state-owned South Korean energy

Kepco, a state-owned South Korean energy firm to take over construction of UK’s Moorside nuclear power project. Kepco has confirmed as preferred bidder to build reactors in Cumbria.

Kopco declared that it is to take over construction of a troubled nuclear power station planned in north-west England, in a significant boost for the UK government’s nuclear ambitions.

Kepco has been declared the preferred bidder for the NuGeneration consortium, which looked doomed earlier this year after the Japanese owner Toshiba was hit by writedowns and the eventual bankruptcy of its US nuclear subsidiary.

The plan to build reactors at Moorside in Cumbria suffered a further blow when France’s Engie also pulled out and forced Toshiba to buy its $138.5m (£103.5m) stake.

Kepco has emerged as the winner in a two-horse race between state-owned nuclear firms eyeing expansion overseas.

The Korean group beat off competition from China General Nuclear (CGN), which has a £6bn stake in the reactors that France’s EDF is building at Hinkley Point and is working to build its own nuclear plant in Essex.

Kepco and CGN are both looking to the UK after nuclear plant construction orders dried up globally in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima disaster.

While the sale of NuGen from Toshiba to Kepco is not signed off yet, insiders described the selection of the South Korean company as a preferred bidder as a “major milestone” in the process.