Britain’s plans to offer financial support for a new nuclear plant on Anglesey were mired in confusion yesterday amid conflicting reports of a key meeting between the prime minister and Hitachi, the developer. Hiroaki Nakanishi, chairman of the Japanese conglomerate, met Theresa May last week as it seeks direct government funding of the Horizon venture to build a 2.9GW power station at Wylfa. The company has threatened to abandon the project by the middle of this year unless it is confident of a deal. Mainichi, the Japanese newspaper, reported that Mrs May told Hitachi to “go ahead” with the project and said the government would offer loan guarantees, but a government spokeswoman said: “We don’t recognise these reports.” Duncan Hawthorne, chief executive of Horizon, told The Times last year that loan guarantees would not make the plant viable and the company had been seeking direct government investment as well as a subsidy contract. Mainichi reported that the plant would cost more than £20 billion, making it even more expensive than EDF’s Hinkley Point C project. A Horizon source distanced itself from that figure. The government spokeswoman added: “Nuclear power remains a crucial part of the UK’s energy future” but it “must be delivered at the right price for consumers and taxpayers”.
Times 10th May 2018 read more »
The government is remaining tight-lipped over funding plans for two new nuclear power stations in Wales, despite reports it is set to fund Hitachi’s venture. Both Reuters and Japanese newspaper, The Mainichi, reported that the British government had provided guarantees for the loans to nuclear developer Hitachi for its Horizon venture. But the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) hit back saying it “did not recognise the reports”. It went on to say that nuclear power remained a “crucial part” of the UK’s energy future, but it had always been clear that it must be “delivered at the right price for consumers and taxpayers”. “This principle runs through all our engagement with any new build developers. These discussions are commercially sensitive and we have no further details at this time,” a spokesperson said.
New Civil Engineer 10th May 2018 read more »
Britain’s government on Wednesday played down a media report that it will guarantee Hitachi Ltd’s Horizon Nuclear Power loans for the construction of two reactors in Wales. British Prime Minister Theresa May met Hitachi Chairman Hiroaki Nakanishi last week in London and asked him to go ahead with the project, conveying the government’s intention to fully guarantee the loans, Japan’s Mainichi newspaper paper said, without citing a source. “We don’t recognise these reports,” a spokesman for Britain’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) said in an emailed statement. “Nuclear power remains a crucial part of the UK’s energy future but we have always been clear that this must be delivered at the right price for consumers and taxpayers,” he said.
Reuters 9th May 2018 read more »
In response to reports in the Japanese media that Theresa May has agreed to fully guaranteee the loans for Hitachi’s proposed new nuclear reactor at Wylfa, Anglesey, Hannah Martin, Head of Energy at Greenpeace UK, said – “With this offer of taxpayer support to Hitachi, Theresa May has given us a disturbing glimpse of Britain’s future. In a secret meeting last week she has allegedly taken control of our energy policy away from Parliament and given it to companies with questionable safety records in secret deals behind closed doors. British MPs and British taxpayers only learnt about these secret deals from Japanese newspapers. While neither the taxpayer nor our representatives in Parliament are party to the discussions, we’ll be funding this deal twice over. Firstly financing the construction of these absurdly expensive obsolete reactors, and then again when our soaring electricity bills reveal exactly why no other western nation is making this costly mistake. And after the Hinkley debacle, we can’t say we weren’t warned. The Prime Minister must come clean on what she has agreed with foreign companies and answer urgent questions on the viability of her energy policy.”
Greenpeace 9th May 2018 read more »
Hitachi has received assurances from the UK government that loans will be provided for the construction of two nuclear reactors in Wales according to Japanese media reports. The Mainichi newspaper reported on Wednesday that Prime Minister Theresa May met with Hitachi Chairman Hiroaki Nakanishi last week in London to confirm the loans and thus effectively give the go-ahead on the project. Further to the loans, the Japanese giant’s chairman has also called upon the UK government to take a £2bn stake in the plant in Anglesey, north Wales. New safety regulations have caused the cost of the project to spiral to $27.4bn, according to the newspaper.
Web Financial Group 9th May 2018 read more »
Britain and Hitachi Ltd. are thrashing out a deal for two new U.K. nuclear plants akin to how a controversial agreement was struck with Electricite de France SA to build the nation’s first new reactor since 1995. At a meeting with Prime Minister Theresa May last week, the government assured Hitachi that it will guarantee all loans for construction of the project in Wales, according to a report in Japan’s Mainichi newspaper, which the U.K. government said it didn’t recognize. Tokyo-based Hitachi is also seeking a set price from the power generated by the reactors, a government official said. “It’s almost impossible to finance new nuclear without some kind of state involvement,” said Robert Gross of Imperial College London and a co-director of the U.K. Energy Research Centre. But the lack of transparency from a private deal rather than holding an auction makes it “hard to see how the government will avoid criticism for the Hitachi deal,” he said.
Bloomberg 9th May 2018 read more »