Hitachi to create 6,000 jobs at Wylfa

The region's construction and engineering sectors received a much-needed boost to long-term order prospects on Tuesday with the announcement that the Japanese technology giant had bought the energy site in Anglesey with the intention of building a new nuclear power plant.

Hitachi has acquired Horizon Nuclear Power, the joint venture established in 2009 by RWE npower and E.ON, which decided to sell in March. Hitachi, a new entrant to UK nuclear supply, plans to build between four and six new nuclear plants around the county to power up to 14m homes over 60 years.

The first 1,300MW plants will be built in Wylfa and Oldbury in Gloucestershire and are estimated to become operational before 2025.

Rolls-Royce and Babcock International have already signed Memorandums of Understanding with Hitachi, which also today confirmed it intends to establish a module assembly facility in the UK.

Hitachi has committed to develop the workforce in the vicinity of the build sites. Up to 6,000 jobs are expected to be directly supported during construction at each site, with a further 1,000 permanent jobs at each site once operational.

The government said on Tuesday it had agreed a local supply chain deal expected to generate at least 60% of contracts for British firms.

Hitachi has a track record of building nuclear power stations in four years in Japan, faster than its rivals. The company will have to gain the appropriate UK licences before work can begin in earnest.

The Tokyo-based group reportedly paid £700m for Horizon, double analysts' expectations and higher than the runner-up Westinghouse Electric.

Hiroaki Nakanishi, president of Hitachi, said: "Today starts our 100 year commitment to the UK and its vision to achieve a long-term, secure, low-carbon, and affordable energy supply. We look forward to sharing Hitachi's corporate vision and nuclear business policy with the management and employees of Horizon, and working harmoniously with UK companies and stakeholders for the delivery of this vital part of Britain's national infrastructure and the creation of a strong UK nuclear power company."

Welsh Secretary David Jones said: "When I was appointed Secretary of State, I made it clear that securing a future for nuclear generation at Wylfa was my number one ambition. Today's announcement is terrific news for Anglesey and the whole of North Wales. I have visited Wylfa many times and know there is a wealth of nuclear expertise and eager young apprentices on Anglesey; they can now look forward to a secure future of well-paid, high quality employment."

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