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Wed March 5, 2014
USEC Files For Bankruptcy, PGDP Shutdown Will Continue Unaffected
The United States Enrichment Corporation announced today that its filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as part of a prearranged financial restructuring plan, but the filing won’t affect any of its subsidiaries, including the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant.
In a release, the global energy company says the move is aimed to strengthen the company’s balance sheet, enhance its ability to sponsor the American Centrifuge project and improve its long-term business opportunities. The company also announced that it reached agreement with its preferred equity investors, Toshiba Corporation and The Babcock & Wilcox Company, to support the restructuring plan.
In order to implement the agreement, USEC filed a voluntary petition and a plan of reorganization under Chapter 11 of the bankruptcy code in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.
USEC anticipates receiving Court approval for its prearranged plan of reorganization and emerging from Chapter 11 in 90 to 120 days. None of USEC’s subsidiaries, including its primary operating subsidiary the United States Enrichment Corporation, have filed for bankruptcy protection.
The plan only involves the parent USEC company, PGDP Spokesperson Georgann Lookofsky says the company’s financial restructuring won’t affect the ongoing layoff or shutdown processes at the Paducah plant.
“That won’t affect the ongoing operations at Paducah, the preparation for transition, it also won’t affect the pay or benefits of our current employees or the benefits of the employees being separated," said Lookofsky. "It also won’t affect the timeline for the upcoming workforce reductions.”
150 workers have been laid off since January and Lookofsky says the plant plans to layoff 360 employees in April, the largest to date, and then possibly smaller groups as necessary until the final day of operations.
Last week, GE Hitachi’s Global Laser Enrichment subsidiary filed a letter of intent with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to use the facility once USEC has returned the plant back to the Department of Energy.
Lookofsky says USEC and the DOE have not committed to a specific date to transfer ownership, but that it may happen in the fall of this year.