Wylfa Newydd: Hitachi ‘not giving up’

Artist’s impression

An Hitachi executive says the company has ‘not given up’ on Wylfa Newydd, amid speculation about the project’s future.

Japanese media reported last week that the company was considering scrapping the £12 billion project amid rising construction costs and problems with finding investors.

But vice-president Toshikazu Nishino said both the UK and Japan were making efforts to ensure the nuclear power plant goes ahead – and talks are continuing with the UK Government.

He told a briefing that negotiations were not easy but added ”we haven’t given up and are still working on it.”

The project was discussed at a board meeting last week, when speculation about whether it could be abandoned led to Hitachi’s shares going up by almost 3% on the Tokyo stock market.

But the company’s chief executive, Toshiaki Higashihara, was more cautious, warning no final decision had been reached on Wylfa Newydd’s future.

Responding to recent reports, he told a news conference there were limits on how much risk Hitachi was willing to take: ”We will go ahead with the project if it makes economic sense, but otherwise, it may be possible for us to freeze the project.”

Meanwhile, developers Horizon Nuclear Power – a Hitachi subsidary – are still considering their response to the Welsh Government’s decision to call in a decision to allow clearing work for the site.

Anglesey Council voted unanimously in September to allow the firm to start clearing over 740 acres of land, despite a legal challenge from Greenpeace.

But the decision was called in amid concerns about the planning application and the impact on wildlife at the nearby Cemlyn Nature Reserve.

Horizon said they were disappointed – and disagreed with the ”reasoning and justification” for the Welsh Government’s decision.

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