Posted: Tue 30th Jun 2020

Wylfa backer denies reports of Chinese interest in Anglesey site amid reports of US intervention

North Wales news and information
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Jun 30th, 2020

The firm behind a multi billion pound nuclear plant has denied reports that it plans to sell the Anglesey site to a Chinese corporation.

According to reports over the weekend, the US government has warned Hitachi, the parent company of Horizon Nuclear Power, not to sell the Wylfa Newydd site to the Chinese government.

The Times reported the intervention as a sign of escalating tensions between America and China.

But when contacted, a spokesman for Horizon Nuclear Power said: “We don’t comment on speculation.

“Our focus remains on securing the conditions necessary to restart this crucial project, which would bring transformative economic benefits to the region and play a huge role in helping deliver the UK’s climate change commitments.”

Such claims were reinforced by Hitachi, who told the Reuters news agency “We are not aware of any plans to sell the project to China.”

Work on the multi billion pound project, earmarked for a site near Cemaes, was put on hold last year after the firm failed to reach a funding agreement with the UK government.

But with the local authority having consistently championed the economic benefits of such a development, which was cited to provide around 6% of the UK’s electricity and create 8,500 jobs during construction and another 850 over its 60-year operational lifespan, hopes remain it could be revived if a new funding arrangement is struck.

Described as a kick-starter to resuming the project, in September the UK Government is expected to make a decision on vital planning permission, known as a Development Consent Order (DCO), to construct the power station.

But having already been delayed for a year, opponents of the project claim that the pushing back of a decision demonstrates that ministers “have not been satisfied by answers provided,” reiterating their calls for the Wylfa Newydd plans to be “totally rejected.”

Local councillor Aled Morris Jones said: “As far as we’re aware, we know Horizon are awaiting the result of the DCO application which has the use of Hitachi technology in the reactor, therefore the interest of the Chinese would require another DCO to be  developed.

“We are hopeful that Horizon will continue to develop the Wylfa site in due course and the UK Government is prepared to support them in this essential national infastructure project.”

Anglesey Council has been approached for comment.

By Gareth Williams – Local Democracy Reporter



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