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Firm behind new N-plant for Anglesey may step back from deal.

Byline: OWEN HUGHES Business Correspondent

THE Japanese firm behind Wylfa Newydd warned they could step back from the PS14bn nuclear project unless a viable funding deal could be found.

Hiroaki Nakanishi, Chairman of Hitachi, whose subsidiary Horizon is behind the Anglesey project, was talking following the setback by French conglomerate EDF for its planned nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset.

EDF delayed a final decision on its PS18bn project, raising concerns about whether they can make the project stack up, despite a strike price subsidy agreement from the UK Government.

Mr Nakanishi told the Sunday Telegraph that this raised questions about how the next generation of UK nuclear plants, including Wylfa Newydd, could be funded.

Horizon is still is discussions with the Department and Climate Change on a strike price for Wylfa Newydd, which is tipped to create more than 6,000 jobs if construction does get underway later this decade.

Once generating in the mid-2020s the plant would employ around 1,000 workers.

But Mr Nakanishi said the challenges faced by Hinkley Point could also affect Horizon.

He said Hitachi had set out "very fair conditions for the making of our investment", but could only commit to a deal it believed was viable.

He told the Sunday Telegraph: "The DECC worries about the stability of the scheduled construction of the [Hinkley Point] nuclear power plant, so some of the conditions - the credit requirements - those kind of things may affect us.

"In order to set up the financial conditions [to build Hinkley], Chinese capital was introduced, but what the real result will be - we have a very serious concern about that."

He added: "Hinkley Point [raises questions] about what are the real solutions for setting up financial support "Nuclear power construction requires huge money we need to arrange a financial plan for which the kind of money needed can be introduced.

"Some part is government endorsement, some is more preferable investment conditions from the part of the finance industry."

Asked if the firm might step back if it believed a viable deal was not on the table, Mr Nakanishi replied: "Yes".

Alan Raymant, chief operating officer of Horizon, said Wylfa talks were "progressing rapidly with the solid backing of Hitachi".

"We've always said we need finance for the construction phase and we're confident we can achieve that."


The old Wylfa nuclear plant is set to be repalced

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Publication:Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)
Date:Feb 1, 2016
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