LONDON – Hitachi Ltd. is seeking to resurrect plans for a nuclear power plant in northern Wales and has already been in talks with the British government, the Financial Times reported Sunday on its online edition.
Horizon Nuclear Power Ltd., a Hitachi subsidiary, has been holding detailed discussions with the government for weeks, including on financing, the newspaper said.
Plans to resurrect Hitachi’s project came as conservative British lawmakers question the involvement of state-backed China General Nuclear Power Corp. in the country’s nuclear power sector, according to the report.
Anti-Chinese sentiment has grown in the country since Beijing tightened its grip on Hong Kong, the former British colony that was promised a high degree of autonomy for 50 years after its return to Chinese rule in 1997.
Hitachi suspended the ¥3 trillion ($28.2 billion) project to build two nuclear power reactors at the Wylfa Newydd plant on Anglesey Island in January 2019, after it faced difficulties securing financing and judged that proceeding would be risky.
Following the FT report, a Hitachi spokesperson said there had been no progress or change in its policy since the freezing of the project last year.
There has also been talk in the industry of the state taking majority stakes in nuclear schemes, which could enable developers such as Horizon to become contractors. A decision on Wylfa’s planning application is expected by the end of next month, the business paper said.
We are ready to go … but the funding model needs to be in place,” Duncan Hawthorne, chief executive of Horizon, told the FT.