Wylfa Newydd talks between Hitachi and UK Government step-up amid hopes of project revival

Talks between the backers of Wylfa Newydd and UK Government are stepping up in a bid to revive the nuclear project on Anglesey.

The scheme stalled last year after Horizon Nuclear Power and parent firm Hitachi failed to secure a suitable funding agreement with the UK Government.

Planning has continued for the £12bn project with a decision expected in the coming weeks.

If successful it would allow for a quick restart of the scheme if the funding issue is resolved.

Sources say talks had gone quiet due to the coronavirus pandemic but have stepped up in recent weeks.

The development is being seen as a way of helping kickstart an economy badly impacted by Covid-19 as well as helping towards getting all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.

Wylfa Newydd, latest CGI image of planned nuclear site
(Image: Horizon Nuclear Power)

A Horizon spokesman said: “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.”

Horizon Nuclear Power chief executive Duncan Hawthorne told the Financial Times: “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.

Duncan Hawthorne, chief executive of Horizon Nuclear Power
Duncan Hawthorne, chief executive of Horizon Nuclear Power

“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.”

Ynys Môn MP Virginia Crosbie has said Wylfa Newydd can be “catalyst for a massive levelling up of the whole of North Wales”.

She also believes the project is of UK critical importance in helping meet the Net Zero target by 2050.


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