Hitachi acquires Horizon nuclear programme

JAPANESE engineering group Hitachi has bought the Horizon nuclear project which is to build new power stations in Anglesey and Gloucestershire.

It is understood to have agreed to pay £700m for the two sites and rights to build new reactors.

The venture has been sold by German-owned E.ON and RWE who decided to pull out of the project in March.

In a statement the Department for Energy and Climate Change said: “Hitachi this morning confirmed that it intends to progress with Horizon Nuclear Power’s plans to build between two and three new nuclear plants at Wylfa on Anglesey and the same at Oldbury in Gloucestershire.”

Babcock International and Rolls-Royce have already signed up to join the Hitachi plan.

Hitachi’s bid, which is understood to have trumped a rival offer from Westinghouse, has been seen as a vote of confidence in the UK nuclear sector.

In a stock market statement Babcock’s chief executive Peter Rogers said: “Our significant experience in the UK nuclear sector complements the international experience of Hitachi. We look forward to exploring how our skills, capabilities and experience can contribute to the delivery of this project of national strategic importance, meeting the future energy demands of the UK and creating long-term opportunities for UK companies.”