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Horizon eyes transfer of nuclear sites

Horizon Nuclear Power is in discussions about transferring its Wylfa Newydd and Oldbury nuclear-build sites to another developer.

Horizon confirmed in September that it was scrapping its work at the sites after parent company Hitachi failed to agree a funding deal with the UK Government. It later asked Whitehall to delay a decision on a development consent order for the Wylfa project, on Anglesey, while it sought another firm to take it over.

On Friday, business secretary Alok Sharma confirmed an extension to the process for making a decision on planning permission for the site until December 31.

A Horizon spokesman yesterday said that he welcomed the move. “We can’t comment on the specifics of any early stage conversations with third parties but our sites are highly attractive for nuclear development and we have built up an enormous knowledge bank of what is required to do that successfully,” he said. “Nuclear is increasingly seen as critical to the country’s climate and economic goals and Wylfa Newydd still retains the potential to play a large part in this,” he added.

Nuclear Industry Association chief executive Tom Greatrex said: “It’s good news that the government have allowed Horizon more time to find a way forward for the site. Wylfa remains one of the best sites in Europe for nuclear development, and large-scale nuclear projects like it have an essential role to play in driving economic recovery and securing our net zero future.”

A consultation on the future of nuclear power project funding opened in July 2019, but the government has not yet issued a response. The regulated-asset-base model, the model Horizon said it would have preferred to use, has been under review by the government as a preferred model since early 2018.

A spokesperson for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said: “We remain willing to discuss new-nuclear projects with any viable companies and investors wishing to develop sites, including in north Wales, and are considering a range of financing solutions.”

Source: CN Construction News