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Wylfa backers ready for quick restart on nuclear power plant

Backers of the £20bn Wylfa Newydd nuclear power plant on Anglesey are poised to restart work, as “detailed conversations” get underway with government.

Horizon Nuclear Power chief executive Duncan Hawthorne has revealed that conversations with government about a new funding mechanism are ongoing.

Enabling work at the site was suspended in January 2019 after Hitachi, the parent company of Horizon Nuclear Power, pulled funding over cost concerns and lack of investors.

However, Horizon has continued with its planning permission application for Wylfa after the government launched a review into a “regulated asset base” funding model.

A skeleton staff has also remained on site, ready to re-mobilise if Horizon gets the green light from government.

Hawthorne told the FT: “What I’ve been trying to do over the last period is convince people that our suspension has not in any way undermined our ability to restart quickly.

“We are ready to go […] but the funding model needs to be in place. We’ve got a competitively priced project that will generate jobs quickly and really fuel the economy in the region the plant is in.”

“If we can’t make our transaction viable in this environment then it’s never going to happen.”

A Horizon spokesman added: “As we have been doing since the difficult decision was taken to suspend activities, we are continuing to engage with the UK Government, and others, on securing the right conditions to support a potential restart for Wylfa Newydd.

“It is too important an opportunity not to deliver, given the benefits it will bring both locally and nationally, and we remain committed to doing all we can to move this transformational project forward.”

If built, the plant will provide 2.9GW of power to the national grid.

A spokesperson for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said: “New nuclear has an important role to play in providing reliable, low carbon power as part of our future energy mix as we tackle climate change. We regularly engage with developers about their projects.”


Source: New Civil Engineer