Hitachi sunsets Horizon

January 12, 2021, 11:59AMANS Nuclear Cafe

Hitachi Ltd. plans to close Horizon Nuclear Power, its U.K. nuclear development subsidiary, early this spring, according to weekend news reports. Horizon is the firm behind Wylfa Newydd, the proposed nuclear new-build project in Wales.

On January 10, citing a story that appeared earlier that day in The Times, Yahoo reported that Hitachi will close Horizon by March 31—a move, Yahoo said, that “could scupper a sale of the [Wylfa Newydd] site, which has attracted interest from bidders, including a U.S. consortium of Bechtel, Southern Company, and Westinghouse, and dent [the] U.K.’s clean energy goals.”

However, a January 11 item on a Welsh online news service stated, “It is understood that if a sale of the site is not secured before Horizon shuts, the sale process will be continued by Hitachi.”

In case you missed it: As Newswire reported just last week, the U.K. government agreed to delay until April 30 its decision regarding the issuance of a development consent order for Wylfa Newydd, in response to a request from Duncan Hawthorne, Horizon’s chief executive officer.

In his letter asking for the delay, Hawthorne wrote, “Discussions with multiple parties have been positive and encouraging with regards to finding a way forward in Hitachi Ltd.’s absence. Given the complexities involved in any large infrastructure project, these talks are still ongoing, and my team and I are continuing to work hard to bring them to a conclusion. . . . A further short deferral would allow us to conclude discussions to deliver a clear outcome . . . and to settle on our position regarding development consent.”

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