Westinghouse to expand cooperation with Ukraine despite reports on company's bankruptcy

Westinghouse Electric Company, a major player in the nuclear industry, filed for bankruptcy protection on Wednesday. But some older nuclear plants are being shuttered and the four nuclear reactors Westinghouse is helping to build in SC and Georgia are behind schedule and billions of dollars over budget.

Fylde MP Mark Menzies has said he is confident that nuclear jobs in his constituency would not be affected by the financial troubles hitting nuclear giant Westinghouse.

Westinghouse's bankruptcy filing has raised questions over whether it will be able to complete capital intensive projects, although the move does not affect Westinghouse's operations in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, according to a company statement. The Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan also slowed worldwide nuclear development, causing delays at Westinghouse's projects in Georgia and SC and ballooning safety costs at existing nuclear plants.

Westinghouse said in a court filing it has secured $800 million in financing from Apollo Investment, an affiliate of Apollo Global Management, to fund its core businesses during its reorganization.

And the decision to file for bankruptcy looks to have sparked a mass sale of shares in the company's profitable chip business to offset loses from the failed nuclear unit.

Shigenori Shiga, who once headed Westinghouse and stepped down as Toshiba's chairman in February, was not at Thursday's meeting.

At the shareholder meeting, which lasted for more than three hours, CEO Satoshi Tsunakawa and other executives faced angry questions after managers a year ago described the chip and nuclear businesses as core units at the conglomerate.

Britain needs to invest in new infrastructure to replace ageing coal and nuclear plants set to close in the next decade, but has struggled to get large projects built, especially nuclear, due to the costs involved.

The estimated net loss, which is the biggest ever for a Japanese manufacturer, would eclipse the 787.3 billion yen posted by Hitachi Ltd.in the year to March 2009 following the 2008 global financial crisis.

Toshiba has said it expects the business to be valued at at least $18 billion.

"There is a reason Westinghouse is exiting the process and bankrupt".

SCANA told investors on a conference call yesterday 5,000 workers would continue working on its SC site for 30 days while the company while it weighed options.

The bankruptcy could impact the U.S.as well, considering its government guaranteed $8.3 billion in loans for the construction of the reactors. The spokesman of the Japan's government expected that there would be a discussion between both parties. Westinghouse has $9.8 billion in total liabilities, much of which must be shouldered by Toshiba under a debt guarantee for the USA unit.

However, a flood of cheap natural gas from shale, the lack of U.S. legislation to curb carbon emissions and the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan dampened enthusiasm for nuclear power.

  • Zachary Reyes