Work set to stop on Anglesey’s £20bn Wylfa Newydd

Hitachi, the developer behind the Wylfa Newydd nuclear plant on Anglesey, looks set to put the £20bn scheme on hold following a meeting next week, according to reports in the Japanese media.

The Nikkei Asian Review claims the company will decide at a board meeting next week to put the project on hold, following a lack of agreement with the UK Government over funding.

Questions were first raised over the project in December last year, following reports Hitachi would look to pull out of the scheme.

The Nikkei Asian Review claims Hitachi’s board will officially decide to suspend all work on Wylfa, including freezing £2.17bn of assets held by its UK nuclear business, Horizon Nuclear Power.

The decision will be made after Hitachi struggled to attract corporate investors in Japan, while the UK Government has reportedly been reluctant to provide extra financing.

In a statement, Hitachi said “no decision has been made” on the future of the plant. Negotiations between the UK Government and Hitachi are still ongoing and business secretary Greg Clark signalled his backing for the proposals in June this year.

Under the current plans, the plant will be built by 2027 and will provide 2.9GW of energy using two reactors, the design of which was approved by authorities in late 2017.

In August, global construction and engineering firm Bechtel was named as project manager for the £20bn scheme, which is expected to require 9,000 workers on site during peak construction in 2023.

If Hitachi does decide to back out, it will be the second major blow to the North West’s new nuclear programme, after fellow Japanese company Toshiba pulled out of Moorside in Cumbria last year.

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