The Economy Minister says he’s very worried amid speculation that plans for Wylfa Newydd will be suspended.
Ken Skates says he’s seeking assurances from the UK Government following reports from Japanese media that Hitachi will halt all work on the nuclear power plant. A decision could be made this week when a board meeting is held at the Japanese giant.
The Welsh Government said it would not comment on speculation – but Mr Skates admitted speculation over recent days was ”very worrying”.
The minister said he spoke on Tuesday with energy minister Richard Harrington and will write to the business secretary Greg Clark for assurances. Further Government talks will be held this week with key partners in North Wales.
In a statement on Tuesday, Mr Skates said: ”Wylfa Newydd is a major project with potentially significant economic benefits to Anglesey, North Wales and the UK. As a government, we recognise the nuclear sector’s huge potential for delivering against our central aim of tackling regional inequalities, exploiting regional strengths and delivering prosperity for all.”
”The nuclear sector’s potential is recognised by our partners in North Wales, including the critical mass of innovative, forward looking and capable nuclear supply chain companies we are proud to have in Wales.”
”Whilst we cannot respond to speculation, we are continuing to maintain our close dialogue and relationship with Anglesey County Council, Horizon Nuclear Power and other key stakeholders to track this unfolding situation. We need to remain collectively focused on ensuring this project is secured for Ynys Môn and that a lasting legacy is achieved.”
Amid the speculation, prime minister Theresa May has been criticised by unions and politicians, including Mr Skates, for failing to raise Wylfa Newydd when she met last week with Japanese PM Shinzo Abe.
Hitachi said it had made no formal decision on whether to suspend the project – but confirmed it was an option being considered. The UK Government said its talks with the Japanese giant were continuing.
Meanwhile, opponents to the scheme have welcomed the reports. Greenpeace said it left the UK Government’s energy policy in ”tatters”, but argued it was the ”opposite of a disaster”.