China Targets Horizon Wylfa Project
by S Williams
Chinese nuclear interest in Wylfa
Chinese backed State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation is understood to have expressed interest in Horizon and the stalled Wylfa B project on Anglesey.
Following the recent pull-out from UK new nuclear build by German utilities RWE and E.ON, the Horizon Nuclear Power Joint Venture is looking for new developers to take over the abandoned venture.
Reports suggest that China's State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation is in talks over a possible $10 billion investment in Horizon.
This may be in the form of a joint venture with Japanese firm Toshiba, which owns Westinghouse. This would be an interesting development as Westinghouse's AP1000 is one of two reactor designs being considered by the UK Regulator, the Office for Nuclear Regulation, as part of the Generic Design Assessment (GDA) for new UK nuclear power generation.
So it seems the success of such a bid will in the first instance depend on a succesful outcome to the talks between Toshiba and State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation of China, in a JV which is believed to be valued at around £37 million.
There would still need to be approval by the UK Department of Energy and Climate change (DECC). A spokesman for DECC said "any bid for UK energy assets would be subject to rigorous scrutiny" via well established and understood regulatory processes.
This latest development follows fast on the heels of another recent expression of interest in Horizon and so in Wylfa B on Anglesey by Russian firm Rosatom
Clearly there are a number of hurdles to negotiate but it is at least encouraging to see major developers from countries which are better placed financially to consider such major long term infrastructure projects.
So it appears like good news for Wylfa B on Anglesey that both Russian and Chinese backed firms are vying for a slice of the UK electricity generation market going forward.
If either of the two companies, Rosatom or the Toshiba- State Nuclear Power Technology Corp., were to be successful in a bid for Horizon, they would be committed to building two nuclear plants, one on Anglesey the other at Oldbury in Gloucestershire.
For more local stories and articles, subscribe to our free Anglesey Newsletter
here. It's as easy as 1-2-3!