14.02.2019_No32 / News in Brief

May Says Hitachi Wants To Continue Discussions On Wylfa Newydd

Plans & Construction

14 Feb (NucNet): Hitachi has made clear it wants to continue discussions on building new nuclear at Wylfa Newydd in north Wales and the government will support those discussions, prime minister Theresa May has said.

A computer-generated image of the Wylfa Newydd nuclear station in north Wales. Photo courtesy Horizon.

In January Hitachi announced it would suspend work on plans to build the two UK Advanced Boiling Water Reactors because of rising construction costs and a failure to reach an agreement on financing with the UK government.

The Japanese company had been in talks with the government since June about funding for the project, which was being built by its Horizon subsidiary. The government said it had failed to agree terms with Hitachi.

The decision was made from the viewpoint of Hitachi’s financial rationality as a private enterprise, Hitachi said in a statement. Hitachi said the decision would cost it an estimated 300bn yen (€2.3bn) in expenses, plus another 300bn yen as “extraordinary losses”.

“We did offer [Hitachi] a package of support,” Mrs May said. “We offered a package of support that no previous government had been willing to consider of one-third equity, all debt financing and a strike price of no more than £75 per megawatt hour.

“Ultimately we couldn’t reach an agreement between all parties at this stage and Hitachi decided on a commercial basis to suspend the project.”

Hitachi president Toshiaki Higashihara said at a press conference in Tokyo recently that the company might consider “unfreezing” its plans to build Wylfa Newydd if the UK government can demonstrate a viable financing scheme.

According to industry group the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum, Mr Higashihara said a “zero-based review of processes and costs” would also be required for resumption of the project.

Related reports in the NucNet database (available to subscribers):

  • Wylfa Project Might Resume With Viable Financing Scheme From UK, Says Hitachi President (News in Brief No.19, 28 January 2019)

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NucNet

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David Dalton

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