Fylde nuclear fuel plant gets new owner in $4.6bn deal

The Springfields fuel plant
The Springfields fuel plant

The Fylde coast’s nuclear fuel production factory has got a new owner after a Canadian company swooped to buy the Westinghouse Electric Company from Toshiba.

Brookfield Business Partners of Toronto has shelled out $4.6bn to acquire substantially all of the global business of Westinghouse Electric Company.

Westinghouse runs the Springfields factory at Salwick which produces fuel for reactors at power stations.

The future of the business had been under something of a cloud after parent Toshiba got into financial trouble in February last year.

It’s then chairman resigned and Toshiba said it was reviewing its entire nuclear business. It was one of the partners in the Nugen Moorside project to build three new power stations near Sellafield, for which Springfields would supply the fuel.

The effect of the deal on the Westinghouse business in the UK is yet to become clear but Brookfield has a track record of investing in and developing “long-life, high quality assets.”

The deal is expected to be funded with approximately $1bn of equity, $3bn of long-term debt financing and the balance by the assumption of pension, environmental obligations. It is also subject to US Bankruptcy Court approval due to Westinghouse EC being put into US Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March.

Cyrus Madon, CEO of Brookfield Business Partners said today: “Westinghouse is a high-quality business that has established itself as a leader in its field, with a long-term customer base and a reputation for innovation.

“We look forward to bringing our significant expertise and reputation as a long-term owner and operator of critical infrastructure in the U.S. and globally, as well as our deep facilities management capabilities, to enhance the Company’s position as a leading global infrastructure services provider to the power generation industry.”

Westinghouse president José Emeterio