Jobs boost as nuclear firm moves north

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NUCLEAR development company NuGen is relocating its head office to Manchester from London, a move that could create up to 150 jobs.

NuGen, which is a UK company owned by Japanese company Toshiba and Franch group GDF SUEZ, is developing Europe’s largest new nuclear project in West Cumbria.

It says its move to the North West is part of optimising its working processes as it prepares a positive business case for its Moorside project, set to deliver up to 7% of the UK’s future electricity needs.

Manchester was chosen for its proximity to key stakeholders (regulators, supply chain companies in the area), and the city’s excellent public transport links.

NuGen has taken a floor at the Carlyle Group’s landmark Piccadilly Place development, next to Piccadilly station. Its current London offices in Regent Street will close with the move north.

Chief executive, Sandy Rupprecht, said: “We needed to move closer to our site and office in West Cumbria, and for this stage of our development Manchester is the key.

“We are building NuGen step-by-step through an important development phase – and Manchester provides the optimum solution to our current project needs.”

The new office means NuGen’s team will be closer to technology and fuel provider Westinghouse, located in Lancashire.

Rupprecht added: “Our new offices in Manchester will give us easier access to key stakeholders. The positioning of our new office strikes a balance, making it easier for our staff to engage effectively in all forums as we build our project.”

NuGen plans to build three Westinghouse AP1000 reactors at Moorside, to the north and west of the Sellafield complex, but must first complete land surveys and plan the site layout. A four-year development phase will also include gaining necessary licensing and regulatory permits ahead of a final investment decision expected around 2018.

When fully operational, the planned Moorside reactors will have a combined capacity of 3.4 GW, enough to power up to six million homes. The first of the three Westinghouse AP1000 reactors is targeted to come online in 2024.