THE deal to build the first UK nuclear plant in 20 years was also a “step forward” for plans for a Wylfa B station on Anglesey.
That was the view of Welsh Secretary David Jones after the UK Government and EDF Group agreed the key terms for the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in Somerset.
Horizon Nuclear Power, owned by Hitachi, is developing plans to build either two or three reactors at the Wylfa site near Cemaes Bay and Oldbury-on-Severn in South Gloucestershire.
He said: “The announcement that the UK Government and EDF Group have agreed a ‘strike price’ for Hinkley Point C will also come as welcome news for Hitachi and the proposed Wylfa development.
“Contracts for Difference will support investment in new low-carbon generation, by reducing the risks faced by generators by giving certainty about revenues.
The Secretary of State added the announcement was a “strong signal” of the UK Government’s commitment to new nuclear stations, and a “positive step forward” for the Wylfa B project.
“Hitachi’s investment at Wylfa B offers significant potential benefits to the economy in Wales, and particularly on Anglesey, through increased high-quality employment and supply chain opportunities.”
The proposed Wylfa B plant could create 6,000 construction jobs and 1,000 long-term positions.
Horizon’s chief executive Alan Raymant said the agreement with EDF was important in sustaing the momentum of the UK’s nuclear programme.
He added: “We’re progressing well in the development of designs, licensing and permissions activity, recruitment and supply chain development.
“We’re some way from our own price negotiations with Government, but when we get to that stage we are confident we’ll reach a deal that’s fair for bill payers and works for investors.”
Horizon expects to launch its first phase of formal planning consultation in the latter part of 2014.
The company expects to make a final investment decision in 2018 and reach commercial operation by 2025.