The Financial Times has reported that a group of US companies had approached the UK government about taking over the development of the nuclear power plant project at Wylfa in Anglesey, north Wales.
The consortium led by Bechtel, will include power utility Southern and Westinghouse Electric. The FT said discussions began in September after Japanese firm Hitachi pulled out of the £13 billion ($17bn) project.
Hitachi subsidiary Horizon Nuclear Power had planned to develop two UK Advanced Boiling Water Reactor units at Wylfa and and Oldbury on Severn in South Gloucestershire. In September, the company said it would take steps for the orderly closing down of all its current development activities, but that it would "keep the lines of communication open with Government and other key stakeholders regarding future options at both sites."
According to the FT, Bechtel’s Wylfa proposal is intended to fit in with the government’s “levelling up” agenda. The consortium aims to deliver power to the grid on a similar timescale to that proposed Horizon and at a “market competitive price” per megawatt hour despite switching to different reactor technology.
The report came as UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson prepares to set out a “ten point plan” explaining how the UK will meet its 2050 climate commitments, with nuclear power playing a key role in this.