TOKYO (AP) — Nuclear power giants Toshiba Corp. and The Babcock & Wilcox Co. said Tuesday they will jointly invest $200 million to foster uranium enrichment technology being developed by USEC Inc.

Tokyo-based Toshiba and B&W of Lynchburg, Virginia will contribute equally to the investment, which will be provided to USEC in three stages, the companies said in a statement.

The announcement comes after Maryland-based USEC missed out on a $2 billion U.S. federal loan guarantee for its planned next-generation uranium enrichment plant in southern Ohio. Officials are now considering providing another, identical loan guarantee to the American Centrifuge Plant project.

USEC chief executive John Welch said the new agreement will help the company's efforts to deploy its uranium enrichment technology, which is based on highly efficient centrifuges. Construction of the plant in Piketon, Ohio is expected to create thousands of jobs.

For Toshiba, the investment reflects its broader strategy to bolster its nuclear power business.

Earlier this month, company President Norio Sasaki unveiled a three-year strategy that shifts Toshiba's focus to several key areas. It plans to invest heavily in its strongest and most promising sectors.

Babcock & Wilcox designs, makes and manages nuclear power plants for commercial and government customers. It is a subsidiary of construction and engineering company McDermott International Inc.