GE Energy goes again with auction of Port Talbot plant

Baglan Bay to be sold at the end of the year, as electrical giant focuses on nuclear bid




GE Energy, a division of US giant General Electric, is to sell its £500m Baglan Bay gas-fired power station in Port Talbot, South Wales, by the end of the year.

A sale was originally planned last year, but GE Energy stopped the auction for undisclosed reasons despite interest from a Gazprom-E.ON joint venture.

Magued Eldaief, the recently appointed managing director of GE Energy's UK arm, said he hoped the sale would be helped by improved market conditions towards the end of the year.

"The sale should be in the latter part of the second half of the year," said Mr Eldaief. "Hopefully we will get better value."

The 500mw plant, which opened in 2003, will also go through a major maintenance programme ahead of the sale, which should also increase the price tag. The maintenance will take 28,000 man hours.

GE Energy is likely to retain Lexicon Partners to run the auction, having appointed the firm to advise on the potential sale last year.

General Electric is one of four companies applying for approval to design atomic reactors for the Government's nuclear plant new-build programme. The others are Areva, the French nuclear giant; Westinghouse, a subsidiary of Toshiba; and Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd.

The Nuclear Installations Inspectorate is expected to trim the shortlist of designs down to three next month and then grant licences to the successful designs within two to three years.

However, Mr Eldaief warned that the whole programme could be delayed should the Government not set out a clear licensing timetable. The first new nuclear power plants are scheduled to be operational by 2016.

Mr Eldaief said that the UK should use work that has already been done by US regulators on reactor designs as part of its own programme. "The UK has the opportunity to leverage its effort," he added. "That could take months, if not more, off licensing approval."

Another potential problem was the labour market, said Mr Eldaief. He said there was a lack of skilled workers in the nuclear market to fulfil world demand.

"The reality is that there are a lot of nuclear plants planned in other parts of the world," he continued. "The biggest challenge will be the supply and availability of components and engineering resources. This is something the UK government needs to be aware of."

Mr Eldaief was made head of GE Energy's UK operations at the end of last year, having been president of the company's Asia Pacific region. He also confirmed that he would pursue an acquisitive strategy: "We are always interested in solid and differentiated technologies."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Neil Pavier: Management Accountant

£45,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you looking for your next opportunity for ...

Sheridan Maine: Commercial Accountant

£45,000 - £55,000: Sheridan Maine: Are you a newly qualified ACA/ACCA/ACMA qua...

Laura Norton: Project Accountant

£50,000 - £60,000: Laura Norton: Are you looking for an opportunity within a w...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine