Japanese company Hitachi have announced they’re stopping plans to build the £20bn nuclear power plant at Wylfa Newydd in Anglesey, North Wales due to the rising construction costs.
Hitachi has held talks about funding with the UK government since June 2018, but the government failed to agree terms.
This will be a devastating blow for Anglesey as 9,000 workers were to start working on the power plant until 2025, whilst an estimated 400 staff would have been employed within the power plant.
Commenting on the news that Hitachi has suspended work on the Wylfa Newydd Nuclear project, Debbie Bryce, Chief Executive Officer at the West Cheshire & North Wales Chamber of Commerce said to LondonLovesBusiness, “The news that Hitachi have suspended work on the Wylfa Newydd project is devastating for North Wales and the region as a whole.
“This decision has a knock-on effect throughout the region as the project would have brought much needed jobs and investment into North Wales and West Cheshire. Many businesses have spent time and resources in a bid to be part of the Wylfa supply chain and these firms will be extremely frustrated that yet another major project has fallen through.
“The Chamber of Commerce have been supporters of the project since its launch and we will continue to engage with Horizon Nuclear Power and support them in any way possible going forward.”
A spokesperson from the Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) said, As the Business Secretary, Greg Clark set out in June, any deal needs to represent value for money and be the right one for UK consumers and taxpayers.
“Despite extensive negotiations and hard work by all sides, the government and Hitachi are unable to reach agreement to proceed at this stage.”
Chief executive of Hitachi subsidiary of Horizon Nuclear Power, Duncan Hawthorne said, “I am very sorry to say that despite the best efforts of everyone involved we’ve not been able to reach an agreement to the satisfaction of all concerned.
“As a result we will be suspending the development of the Wylfa Newydd project, as well as work related to Oldbury, until a solution can be found. In the meantime we will take steps to reduce our presence but keep the option to resume development in future.”
The national officer Justin Bowden of the GMB union said, “Hitachi’s announcement, coming so soon after the Moorside fiasco, raises the very real prospect of a UK energy crisis.
“As coal is taken out of the equation in the next few years and the existing nuclear fleet reaches the end of its natural life after 50 years, decisions are already long overdue for construction to be completed in time and not leave the country at risk of power cuts or reliant on imported electricity, much of it from unreliable regimes.
“While the Government has had its head up its proverbial backside over Brexit, vital matters like guaranteeing the country’s future energy supply appear to have gone by the wayside.”