Energy and Green

Gloucestershire-based Horizon pulls plug on multi-billion pound nuclear power programme

Written by: Andrew Merrell | Posted 16 September 2020 11:04

Gloucestershire-based Horizon pulls plug on multi-billion pound nuclear power programme

Once wannabe nuclear power giant. Horizon, has announced it is scrapping plans to build a nuclear power plant at Oldbury-on-Severn and in North wales. 

Those who have followed the story closely of the Hitachi-owned business which set up its UK headquarters in Gloucester will know it has been scaling back once grand plans for some time. 

In January last year it announced 380 job losses as it significantly scaled back its plans to become the second major player – alongside EDF - in the UK’s energy market, centred around nuclear power. 

It was a move that suspended the development of its site at Anglesey in North Wales. 

A statement issued this morning confirms the worst fears of those remaining at the business, which has invested hundreds of millions of pounds in the UK. 

In a statement, Hitachi said "the investment environment has become increasingly severe due to the impact of Covid-19" and it was now taking steps to close down the development completely. 

Duncan Hawthorne, chief executive officer (pictured below), said: I understand this announcement will be disappointing for our many supporters who had hoped to see our project through to completion and I would personally like to thank you for your support throughout our time on this project. 

In particular I would like to thank our lead host community of Anglesey in Wales, represented by the Isle of Anglesey County Council and Welsh Government, and the key representatives around Oldbury.

I would also like to express my sincere gratitude to the many international, UK and Welsh stakeholders who have supported us in the development of our projects. 

Nuclear power has a critical role to play in helping tackle our energy needs, meeting our climate change targets and levelling up the economy through green growth and job creation. 

Wylfa Newydd on Anglesey and Oldbury on Severn are highly desirable sites for new nuclear build. We will do our utmost to facilitate the prospects for development which will bring the major local, national and environmental benefits that nuclear can uniquely deliver as we push to transition to a net zero carbon economy by 2050. 

The news has been widely greeted with concern for what this means for the UK energy policy and security.