The company behind a £12bn new nuclear power plant in Wales has said it is making every effort to ensure the project goes ahead. Hitachi said it had “not given up” on its plans for Wylfa Newydd, Anglesey. It follows speculation the company was considering scrapping the Horizon project due to potential increases in construction costs. Executive vice-president Toshikazu Nishino said: “Britain and Japan are both making efforts.” At a briefing, Hitachi’s Mr Nishino added: “It’s not an easy negotiation, but we haven’t given up and are still working on it.”
BBC 17th Dec 2018 read more »
Reuters 17th Dec 2018 read more »
Hitachi Ltd. is considering freezing its plan to build nuclear reactors in Wales after facing difficulties in finding investors to finance the project’s ballooning costs, sources close to the matter said Sunday. Hitachi is likely to have told the British and Japanese governments of its plan to freeze the project, the sources said. The issue will likely be discussed at the planned meeting between Abe and British Prime Minister Theresa May in January, they said. Hitachi also remains at odds with the British government over the purchase price of electricity to be generated by the plant, a key factor in determining the project’s profitability for the company and potential investors. Given the current turmoil in British politics over May’s proposed deal with the European Union on the United Kingdom’s departure from the bloc, price-setting talks are at a “deadlock,” a senior Hitachi official said.
Mainichi 16th Dec 2018 read more »
The Abe administration’s last hope of nuclear plant technology exports being a pillar of economic growth appears to be at a crossroads, and the signs are not good. Hitachi Ltd.’s disclosure that it may have to ditch plans to build a nuclear reactor in Wales appears to throw a fatal wrench in the works. Hiroaki Nakanishi, chairman of Hitachi, told reporters Dec. 17 that his company could proceed no further with the project on the island of Anglesey, citing ballooning costs. Asked about the apparently bleak future for such exports, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga put on a brave face at a news conference held the same day. He noted that a number of nations had expressed strong interest in Japan’s nuclear energy technology, adding, “We will fulfill our responsibility in dealing with the issue of climate change as well as the peaceful use of nuclear energy in the world.” Nakanishi told reporters that Hitachi was finding it increasingly difficult to raise the necessary funds for the costly project. The admission comes after reports earlier this month that Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. was leaning toward abandoning plans to construct a nuclear plant in Turkey. Under a deal reached by Hitachi in June, the governments of Japan and Britain agreed to support the lion’s share of financing. Under the plan, Hitachi would contribute 300 billion yen, and the same sum would be raised by other Japanese and British companies, respectively. In addition, the British government would guarantee loans of about 2 trillion yen. The costs of the project were to be recovered through the electricity generated and sold after construction was completed. However, Hitachi encountered difficulties raising the 300 billion yen from other Japanese entities, including electric power companies and government-affiliated financial institutions. It had also sought to hold talks with the British government to gain a guarantee that the electricity generated would be purchased at a high price so as to recover project costs more quickly. But the British government has other more pressing issues to deal with, most notably its departure from the European Union. Thus, negotiations with Hitachi did not materialize.
Asahi Shimbun 18th Dec 2018 read more »
Urgent clarification needed over Wylfa. The consequences of not building Wyfla would be catastrophic for Wales and the UK’s future energy policy says GMB Union. GMB, the energy union, has called for urgent clarification from the government on the future of the Wyfla nuclear power station.
GMB 17th Dec 2018 read more »
Hitachi will ask the British government for additional support for a nuclear power project in Wales as it struggles to recruit other Japanese investors amid international headwinds for atomic energy.
Nikkei Asian Review 17th Dec 2018 read more »