Following Hitachi’s unexpected withdrawal from the Wylfa Newydd project earlier in September, the UK Government today confirmed that the deadline for granting the Development Consent Order (DCO) for Wylfa Newydd will be extended beyond 30 September.
In a letter to Duncan Hawthorne, CEO of Horizon Nuclear Power, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP accepts Mr Hawthorne’s request to reset the deadline to 31 December 2020 in order to allow Horizon to “consider options with [your] key stakeholders to secure the future of the project”.
This follows a statement by the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Nadhim Zahawi in Westminster earlier this week. Responding to a question from Virginia Crosbie, MP for Ynys Môn, concerning the future of the project he acknowledged the hard work already put in by Ms Crosbie and added:
“We recognise that Hitachi’s decision will be disappointing news for the people of North Wales. We remain willing to discuss new nuclear projects with any viable companies and investors wishing to develop the site. It is a great site that has a great amount of backing from the community.”
On being told of the extension, Virginia Crosbie, said:
“I welcome this news as a very positive signal from the UK Government that it still sees a future for Wylfa Newydd as a nuclear power plant. I know that many people on Ynys Môn recognise the good quality employment and economic boost that Wylfa Newydd would offer and were bitterly disappointed with Hitachi’s announcement. I want to assure them that by representing their views in Westminster and working with Horizon I am fighting hard to keep this opportunity alive.
“The UK Government recognises that Wylfa is the best location available for a nuclear power plant. Developing the site would achieve a number of high priority aims for the UK Government – including achieving net carbon zero by 2050 and levelling up the economic opportunities for the people of Anglesey. By extending the decision on the DCO the Government is giving all interested parties the opportunity to secure a future for the site.
“I know that Horizon will do all they can to achieve a positive outcome and I personally commit to working with them and the UK Government to make that possible.”