PR company chosen for nuclear sell-off

MARY FAGAN

The Government has chosen Dewe Rogerson as its public relations advisor on the privatisation of the nuclear industry, which is scheduled to be sold next year. The appointment will be announced on Monday, along with expected confirmation that the new company - formed from the merger of Nuclear Electric and Scottish Nuclear - will be based in Edinburgh.

The choice of Edinburgh is viewed as an attempt by ministers to appease the Scots, who had lobbied fiercely against the merger with Nuclear Electric.

The Government has already named Barclays de Zoete as financial advisors and global co-ordinators for the sale, which could raise as much as pounds 3bn. The nuclear company has appointed its own group of advisors, including Lazard Brothers, Charterhouse Bank and Gavin Anderson.

The consensus in the industry is that the timetable for privatisation - which ministers would like to complete next summer - is extremely tight. The Government is hoping that the sale will win favour from voters, as it it will go hand-in- hand with the abolition of the nuclear levy, which costs customers about pounds 20 each a year.

An outstanding issue is the future of the ageing Magnox plants, which are excluded from the sale and are to be passed to state-owned British Nuclear Fuels. BNFL has warned that it will refuse to take on the plants, which have billions of pounds in liabilities related to decommissioning and waste management, unless the Government states how that bill will be paid.

The transfer of the six Magnox stations to state-owned BNFL is a key element in the Government's privatisation scheme. It is unlikely that investors would touch the Magnox plant, which has estimated liabilities of pounds 9bn.

John Guinness, chairman of BNFL, said recently: "The Government cannot force us as a plc to take these liabilities on. If the board does not agree [to do so] they can remove the board. I do not want to be chairman of an insolvent firm."

He added: "As directors we have to behave responsibly. We welcome the Magnox plants in principle, but we attach great importance to the issue of liabilities and the terms have yet to be made clear."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
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

Recruitment Genius: Financial Adviser

£20000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you recently QCA Level 4 qu...

SThree: Graduate Recruitment Resourcer

£20000 - £22500 per annum + OTE £30K: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

Guru Careers: Application Support Analyst / 1st Line Support

£25 - 30k: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Application Support Analyst / 1st L...

Guru Careers: .NET Developer / Web Developer

£45K - £55K (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a full stack .NET D...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence