Oldbury nuclear plans back on track following Hitachi takeover

Hitachi nuclear energy division.Plans for a new nuclear power at Oldbury-on-Severn are back on track after a Japanese firm stepped in to buy Horizon Nuclear Power, which had pulled out of the project earlier this year.

Hitachi announced today that it aims to acquire Horizon from joint owners RWE and E.ON for £696 million and take over the ongoing development of Horizon’s plans for new nuclear power in the UK.

The transaction is expected to complete by the end of November.

Horizon Chief Operating Officer Alan Raymant said:

“This is excellent news and marks the opening of an exciting new chapter for Horizon. Hitachi has a proven international track record in the construction and operation of nuclear power stations.”

“We’re very grateful to RWE npower and E.ON UK for the creation and development of Horizon to this point. We will now focus on fully remobilising the business, and working with our new owners to bring forward our plans as soon as possible.”

The Hitachi Horizon programme involves building two to three 1,300 MW plants at each of Horizon’s sites at Wylfa, Anglesey, and Oldbury-on-Severn, South Gloucestershire, with the first unit becoming operational in the first half of 2020s.

Hitachi is proposing to employ its Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR) technology, which has already been licensed in other countries and is operational at four sites in Japan.

The company says it anticipates creating between 5,000 and 6,000 direct jobs at each site during the construction phase and a further 1,000 permanent jobs per site upon start of the operation of each site. It also estimates that 60% by value of each unit will be spent on locally sourced materials, personnel and services.