UK loan for nuclear parts plant no longer certain

* Loan to Sheffield Forgemasters being reviewed – minister

* Uncertainty over plans is damaging – Opposition spokesman

LONDON, June 3 (BestGrowthStock) – A loan granted by Britain’s last
government to a steelworks company to help it build a
manufacturing facility for the nuclear industry is under review,
the new business minister said on Thursday.

Vince Cable said the 80-million-pound ($118 million) loan to
Sheffield Forgemasters agreed under the Labour government that
lost power after a May 6 election was being re-examined, like
all other projects agreed after Jan. 1, 2010.

“We inherited a very large number of projects which were
agreed in a hurry in the run-up to the last general election,”
Cable told parliament during a question and answer session.

“We now have to judge them on the criteria of value for
money and affordability, including this one,” he said.

Cable, a Liberal Democrat, is one of senior members of the
new coalition government. His party is the junior partner to the
larger Conservatives.

The coalition has said its top priority was to cut the
budget deficit, which rose to almost 11 percent of national
output in the last fiscal year, and therefore all public
spending would be under tight control.

The loan to Sheffield Forgemasters was announced by the
former Labour Business Secretary Peter Mandelson in March, who
also said it would be complemented by funding from U.S.-based
firm Westinghouse (6502.T: ).

The funds aimed to help the steelworks build a 15,000-tonne
press capable of producing components for modern nuclear plants.

“Sheffield Forgemasters was not agreed in a hurry,” Pat
McFadden, Labour’s spokesman on business, told parliament in
response to Cable’s comments.

McFadden said the uncertainty over whether projects such as
the Sheffield Forgemasters press and a grant pledged under
Labour to Japan’s Nissan (7201.T: ) for an electric car plant was
damaging to firms and to Britain’s energy policy.

Prime Minister David Cameron said on Wednesday he wanted
electric cars to be developed in Britain but could not say if
the 20-million-pound grant promised to Nissan was safe.

Stock Market Report

(Reporting by Estelle Shirbon; Editing by Sharon Lindores)
($1=.6783 Pound)

UK loan for nuclear parts plant no longer certain