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Wed September 23 2020

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Hitachi walks away from £20bn Wylfa project

6 days Horizon Nuclear Power has confirmed that it is stopping all activities to develop new nuclear projects in the UK

CGI of Wylfa Newydd
CGI of Wylfa Newydd

Hitachi announced in January 2019 that its UK nuclear activity in Anglesey and Gloucestershire was being suspended pending negotiations with the UK government, having failed to make the numbers stack up.

On 16th September 2020 Hitachi confirmed, to absolutely no one's great surprise, that it will end all operations on what it calls the Horizon Project.

The £20bn Horizon Project is a proposal by Horizon Nuclear Power Limited, which Hitachi acquired in November 2012, to develop nuclear power stations comprising of two advanced boiling water reactor units at Wylfa Newydd in Anglesey. Horizon also has the rights for a new nuclear project at Oldbury on Severn in south Gloucestershire.

In a bid to save the project, the UK government had offered to take a one-third equity stake in the project, alongside investment from Hitachi, the government of Japan and other partners, as well as to take on all of the required debt financing to complete construction. But it was only prepared to allow Wyklfa £75 per megawatt hour, compared to the  £92.50 (at 2012 prices) guaranteed to French developer EDF at Hinkley Point C. This proved the sticking point. [See previous report here.]

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In Anglesey, Horizon Nuclear Power it would now take steps for the orderly closing down of all its current development activities, but will keep the lines of communication open with government and other key stakeholders regarding future options at both sites.

Chief executive Duncan Hawthorne said: “Nuclear power has a critical role to play in helping tackle our energy needs, meeting our climate change targets and levelling up the economy through green growth and job creation.

“Wylfa Newydd on Anglesey and Oldbury on Severn are highly desirable sites for new nuclear build.  We will do our utmost to facilitate the prospects for development which will bring the major local, national and environmental benefits that nuclear can uniquely deliver as we push to transition to a net zero carbon economy by 2050.”

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MPU
MPU

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