The agreement was signed by Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander at the launch of the government’s UK Infrastructure Plan 2013. It establishes arrangements designed to enable access to the UK Guarantee scheme that will underpin the establishment of external project finance for the ‘Wylfa Newydd’ project, which is expected to start construction around 2018 and come on stream in the first half of the 2020s.
Horizon Nuclear Power has also signed strategic contracts with Amec, Atkins, and Cavendish Nuclear to provide specialist engineering and technical design services for Wylfa Newydd.
Hitachi and Horizon expect to have the full range of licences and permissions for the first project, Wylfa Newydd, in place by 2018. Horizon is developing plans for two nuclear power station projects at Wylfa on Anglesey and Oldbury-on-Severn in South Gloucestershire. External finance, potentially from both equity and debt sources, is expected to be required to fund the construction of the project, and the UK Guarantee Scheme is considered to be a key component of any future financing structure.
Hitachi Europe deputy chairman Masaharu Hanyu said: “Our acquisition of Horizon represents a 100 year commitment to the UK. This co-operation agreement is a welcome demonstration of the UK government’s equal commitment to making a new generation of nuclear power stations a reality.”
Horizon chief operating officer Alan Raymant said: “This is excellent news and another step forward for Wylfa Newydd. It will build confidence amongst our supply chain, future workforce, local communities, and importantly potential investors. New nuclear must be a part of the future energy mix given our long term need for reliable low-carbon electricity which is also affordable for the consumer.”
Secretary of state for Wales David Jones said: “Following our announcement in October on Hinkley Point, today’s announcement demonstrates this government’s ongoing, steadfast commitment to new nuclear in the UK, and in supporting Hitachi’s investment in Wylfa Newydd. Their investment will bring significant benefits to the economy in Wales, particularly on Anglesey, through supply chain opportunities and much needed high-quality employment.”