LONDON, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- Japan's Hitachi announced on Thursday its suspension of a 20 billion-pound nuclear power station in North Wales of Britain due to rising costs.
Despite strong progress of the project, the Wylfa Newydd plant on Anglesey was scrapped "from the viewpoint of its economic rationality", and "more time is needed to develop a financial structure," Hitachi said in a press release.
Horizon Nuclear Power, a UK subsidiary of Hitachi, said it would suspend development program in Wylfa Newydd and another site at Oldbury on Severn in South Gloucestershire.
"We have been in close discussions with the UK Government, in cooperation with the Government of Japan, on the financing and associated commercial arrangements for our project for some years now," Duncan Hawthorne, CEO of Horizon Nuclear Power said.
"I am very sorry to say that despite the best efforts of everyone involved we've not been able to reach an agreement to the satisfaction of all concerned," Hawthorne said.
Wylfa Newydd was expected to be operational by mid 2020s and create 9,000 jobs in the area. Its suspension is a second blow to the UK nuclear energy industry, after Toshiba withdrew from a proposed nuclear power project in Moorside Cumbria. It means only one of three planned new nuclear power stations at Hinkley Point C in Somerset is still in development.
"Nuclear has an important role to play, as part of a diverse energy mix, but it must be at a price that is fair to electricity bill payers and to taxpayers. We will work closely with Hitachi and the industry, to ensure that we find the best means of financing these and other new nuclear projects," said Britain's Business Secretary Greg Clark Thursday when addressing the House of Commons.
Clark said the economics of the energy market have changed significantly in recent years, as the cost of renewable technologies such as offshore wind has fallen dramatically, to the point where they now require very little public subsidy and will soon require none.
"We have also seen a strengthening in the pipeline of projects coming forward, meaning that renewable energy may now not just be cheap, but also readily available," Clark said, giving credit to renewable energy development for enabling a well-supplied electricity market in the UK. (One pound=1.29 U.S. dollars)