Horizon's £1.7bn pre-tax loss after Wylfa plan shelved

Wylfa Newydd Image copyright Horizon Nuclear
Image caption Hitachi remains in talks with the UK government about Wylfa

The company behind plans to build a new nuclear power station on Anglesey has reported a £1.68bn pre-tax loss.

Work at Wylfa Newydd was suspended in January by Hitachi due to rising costs.

The latest accounts filed by its subsidiary Horizon Nuclear Power Ltd show it cut the value of the land and equipment by £1.52bn as it does not intend to build a new power station.

The accounts also show that staff redundancies and winding up work also cost £127m.

Horizon will now be put into a "suspended state" following the release of most of its workforce and termination of most of its commercial contracts, according to its annual report.

Director Tomorhiro Satake said: "This will see a very small number of staff continue a limited number of activities designed to keep the option open of a possible restart of Horizon's projects, in particular the lead development at Wylfa Newydd.

"The activities in the suspended state will see the group continue to engage with the UK government over the development of a new funding and financing model that could support a possible restart."

A report by the Welsh Affairs Committee said the UK government should encourage Hitachi to sell the site if it is not prepared to resume work.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The site has been described as "fertile territory" for nuclear development

Horizon previously said its main planning permission was being considered, as it keeps its options open.

"They are going ahead with the application because they've done so much work already, it's worth spending the additional money to finish that work," said Dr Edward Jones, economics lecturer at Bangor University.

"What happens after that is up to the government, both in Wales and Westminster but with Brexit taking up all the time, I can't see a decision being made on Wylfa Newydd for quite some time."

He added: "The loss sounds like a large figure but Hitachi is a company that works across the world with assets of around $90bn (£72bn). It's not going to cause them many problems."

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