The UK Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Alok Sharma confirmed that he is extending the deadline for the Development Consent Order (DCO) for the Wylfa Newydd NPP for a further four months until 30 April 2021 – a month longer than had been requested by Horizon Nuclear Power.
Horizon – the UK project developer owned by Japan’s Hitachi – had planned to construct two UK Advanced Boiling Water Reactor units at the Wylfa site on the island of Anglesey in North- Wales, but in September Hitachi pulled out of the project and Horizon signalled its intention to close down all development activities.
However, Horizon CEO Duncan Hawthorne asked BEIS to delay to a decision on the Development Consent Order (DCO) for the Wylfa project from 30 September to 31 December and on 18 December, requested a further deferral until 30 March.
In his letter to Hawthorne, Sharma confirmed the extension was being granted in order for Horizon to “conclude discussions with [your] key stakeholders to secure the future of the project”. Horizon has been in talks with other interested parties to find an alternative operator for the site.
Councillor Llinos Medi, Anglesey Council Leader, said: “Wylfa is one of the best sites for new nuclear development in Europe and its future development has the potential to bring huge economic rewards and job opportunities for our young people over the next 60 years. The project also remains an integral part of the County Council’s Energy Island vision which would put Anglesey at the forefront of low carbon energy research and development, production and servicing. The economic benefits would extend across the Island, North Wales region and beyond."
Horizon welcomed the decision saying it “was the most sensible course of action given our live discussions with third parties about the future of Wylfa Newydd. Given these positive talks are still ongoing, another short deferral is in the best interests of the project and all those that would benefit from its successful delivery…. Recent UK Government announcements, including the Prime Minister’s 10 Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution and the Energy White Paper, have confirmed that nuclear will be a key part of the UK’s future energy mix and therefore keeping the option open for new build on Anglesey is the best way forward.”
Photo: The deadline for the development consent order for the Wylfa Newydd NPP has been extended until April (Credit: Horizon)