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Mon June 14 2021

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Hitachi confirms Bechtel’s Wylfa role

20 May 16 Horizon Nuclear Power has appointed a US-Japanese consortium of Hitachi, Bechtel and Japanese engineer JGC to build the planned £14bn Wylfa power station in Anglesey.

The joint venture is called Menter Newydd, meaning New Venture in Welsh.

Horizon Nuclear Power was formed in 2009 to develop new nuclear power stations in the UK. It was acquired by Hitachi Ltd of Japan in November 2012. The company is developing plans to build at least 5,400MW of new nuclear power generation plant at Wylfa and at Oldbury-on-Severn in Gloucestershire.

Between them, the Menter Newydd partners have been involved in the delivery of more than 170 nuclear power stations. Hitachi Nuclear Energy Europe draws on Hitachi’s 50 year history of boiling water reactor deployment, including four advanced boiling water reactors, the technology that will be built at Wylfa Newydd, whilst Bechtel last year completed construction of the first nuclear power station authorised to operate in the USA this century, at Watts Bar in Tennessee.

Horizon CEO Duncan Hawthorne said: “This is an important step in any large, complex infrastructure project and it adds to Wylfa Newydd’s growing momentum.

“The depth and breadth of expertise Hitachi Nuclear Energy Europe, Bechtel and JGC bring to the Menter Newydd venture will help us ensure the timely delivery of our project, which will be vital for meeting the UK’s energy gap and boosting the local economy in North Wales for decades to come. We look forward to working with the team and continuing to make great strides with our plans.”

Menter Newydd will be managed via a joint programme management office (JPMO), led by Hitachi’s Malcolm Twist. It will be based in Gloucester, with an increasing presence at Wylfa Newydd in coming years, Horizon said.

Project director Malcolm Twist said: “This is a very strong team. All the partners are proven at the highest level, and I’m delighted we’ve established the balance of expertise to safely deliver for Horizon, on-cost and on-schedule. We expect to begin firming up relationships with our main subcontractors – many of them British – very soon.”

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Bechtel’s Mike Robinson, deputy project director for Menter Newydd, said: “This is an exciting project and a major milestone for low-carbon energy and future jobs across Wales and the UK.  As part of Menter Newydd, Bechtel will bring Wylfa Newydd safely into delivery to cost and budget in collaboration with local communities and our partners.”

JGC’s Tsuyoshi Iwasaki, also deputy project director for Menter Newydd, added:  “We are pleased to be here on the Isle of Anglesey, working on a project which will contribute so much to local communities, as well as to the wider UK. We bring significant expertise, accumulated through our global experience of EPC delivery, and look forward to helping ensure the safe, on-time, on-cost delivery of Wylfa Newydd.”

Hitachi-GE, which has been operating under a FEED contract to Horizon for more than three years, will continue to provide the UK ABWR technology, under subcontract to Menter Newydd.

Site development work is also continuing and the UK ABWR remains on track to complete its regulatory generic design assessment by the end of 2017, Horizon said.

Energy minister Andrea Leadsom indicated that the government remained committed to the development of nuclear power, despite the apparent slow progress being made on the various projects in the works.  “I am pleased to see that Wylfa Newydd in Wales is progressing," she said. "We have to replace our ageing energy infrastructure and new nuclear is an essential part of our plan to power the country now and for the next generation.

“Keeping the lights on is non-negotiable, and new nuclear is the only proven low carbon technology that can provide clean, continuous power, irrespective of whether the wind is blowing and the sun is shining.”

Suppliers interested in any aspect of Menter Newydd scope are advised to register details at www.hitachi-hgne.co.uk.

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