Toshiba woes prompt demand for nuclear clarity

SCANA Corporation

SCANA Corporation

Westinghouse acquired CB&I Stone & Webster, a USA nuclear plant construction firm at the heart of the massive write-down problem, in late 2015.

For the year ending in March, the company will try to avoid falling into a state of excess liabilities by selling off its assets, among other means.

It is also hoping to sell off its memory chip business to fix its struggling balance sheet.

The move left United Kingdom unions voicing concern about the future of the planned £10 billion nuclear plant at Moorside.

Toshiba said today that, in India, Westinghouse would exclude construction from the scope of its work and focus on supply of equipment and engineering.

That sale preceded a 2013 acquisition of The Shaw Group by CB&I, based in The Woodlands, Texas.

Now, Toshiba is establishing a new structure, with a Nuclear Business Corporate Oversight Committee chaired by its CEO and Toshiba executive officers serving as members of the committee. Both projects are already years behind schedule and billions of dollars over budget. But it just amplified problems.

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Toshiba said it wants to sell at least part of its controlling stake in Westinghouse. It said a law firm hired by Toshiba had interviewed those involved in the issue and found inconsistencies in their stories.

The company has been reviewing its investment in overseas nuclear projects and is set to make an announcement on Tuesday.

During the past few decades, Toshiba has been wholly or partly involved in the construction of 20 nuclear reactors in Japan, none of which are now operating following the triple meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi in March 2011.

This is mainly the result of a writedown in excess of £5bn in the value of Westinghouse, in turn caused in large part to a litigation settlement related to the CB&I Stone and Webster construction arm the subsidiary bought a year ago, says Forbes.

Construction of the new reactors is expected to create thousands of jobs over the next decade, with many contracts expected to go to United Kingdom firms.

Japan's Toshiba Corp 6502.T said it has asked regulators to allow it to delay the release of its earnings, including a writedown on its USA nuclear business, by a month while it probes internal controls at its Westinghouse unit.

Toshiba, founded in 1875, employs about 190,000 people and used to be one of the most respected brands of Japan Inc.

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