Wales’ first minister has called on the UK Government to work more closely with his administration on plans to build a new nuclear power station in Anglesey after it revealed that ministers were considering funding the project.
Horizon Nuclear Power, which is owned by Japanese firm Hitachi, has applied to the Planning Inspectorate for a Development Consent Order for the proposed Wylfa Newydd nuclear power plant, which could cost £12bn.
On Monday, business and energy secretary Greg Clark told MPs that the UK Government and Hitachi will enter into negotiations in relation to the project.
He said: ‘This is an important next step for the project, although no decision has been yet taken to proceed, and the successful conclusion of these negotiations will of course be subject to full Government, regulatory and other approvals, including but not limited to value for money, due diligence and State Aid requirements.’
Mr Clark added: ‘A key focus of discussions with Hitachi has been – and will continue to be – achieving lower cost electricity for consumers. Both the National Audit Office and the Public Accounts Committee have recommended that the Government consider variations from the Hinkley Point C financing model in order to reduce costs to consumers.
‘In line with the NAO and PAC’s clear findings and recommendations, for this project the Government will be considering direct investment alongside Hitachi, and the Japanese Government agencies and other parties.’
The BBC reported that the Welsh Government’s first minister, Carwyn Jones, said: ‘The Wylfa Newydd project has the potential to transform the Welsh economy. It is vital that the Welsh Government has a seat at the table as the project progresses to the next stage and I will continue to press for this.
‘The decisions made at a UK and Japan level will have a direct impact on Wales and we expect the UK government to work more closely with us to ensure that every opportunity is realised from this huge project in order to secure lasting benefits for Wales.’