Brookfield and Cameco have completed their acquisition of Westinghouse Electric Company, one of the world’s largest nuclear power businesses. Brookfield now owns a 51% interest in Westinghouse and Cameco owns 49% interest, with the final close value totaling $8.2 billion.
The acquisition comes amidst rising interest in expanding nuclear energy as a part of the clean energy transition.
The companies cite the demand outlook for nuclear power as better and more durable than ever, and their combined expertise in the clean energy sector may contribute to global nuclear fuel supply security. According to Cameco, Westinghouse’s stable and predictable core business has generated strong cash flows and maintains a long-term contract portfolio, positioning it well to compete amidst growing demand for nuclear energy.
“This new era of Westinghouse builds upon the strong foundation established with the previous owners, which have been exceptional supporters and stewards of Westinghouse in its repositioning,” said Patrick Fragman, president and CEO of Westinghouse. “As we look to the future, Westinghouse is strategically positioned with Brookfield and Cameco to leverage expertise in our respective areas to better serve our customers and achieve a carbon-free future.”
Westinghouse was earlier acquired out of bankruptcy in 2018 from Toshiba Corp by Brookfield Business Partners, for $4.6 billion including debt.
Nuclear’s Role in Clean Energy Transition, Large Nuclear Projects Face Obstacles
The International Energy Agency has reported that nuclear power will need to double its capacity by 2050 in order to meet global net zero goals. Westinghouse, which has supplied more than half of the nuclear-supplied base worldwide, has contributed significantly to nuclear energy growth, but not without incurring major costs.
Some of the large-scale nuclear energy projects done by Westinghouse have faced considerable cost overruns — one of their nuclear power plants in Georgia recently faced a $413 million lawsuit over such issues and for surpassing expected construction times. Concerns over supporting additional large nuclear projects have arisen, especially as alternative nuclear energy projects such as small modular reactors have been proven to provide clean nuclear energy without extensive constriction time and cost.
Cameco reports growth opportunities in Westinghouse’s pre-application for the development of a small modular reactor, AP300 SMR, which is based on the design of its larger reactor, AP1000. The company is optimistic about the possibility of the technology contributing to further expansion of nuclear energy, but the units are still in the development phase at present.