Wales

Nuclear funding proposal 'essential' for restarting Wylfa

Wylfa Newydd Image copyright Horizon Nuclear
Image caption Hitachi's UK subsidiary, Horizon Nuclear Power, suspended work in January

New ways to fund nuclear projects could be an "essential step" to restarting the shelved Wylfa Newydd scheme, developer Horizon has said.

Proposals announced by the UK government include electricity customers paying for part of nuclear schemes' costs upfront through bills.

The £15bn scheme on Anglesey was suspended in January because of rising costs.

A Horizon spokesman said it "warmly welcomed" the announcement.

He added: "As we said when we announced the suspension of our projects, a new funding and financing model is one of the essential steps if we are to potentially restart our development activities.

"We will now look in detail at what the government has set out and continue our engagement with them on this issue."

The suggested model, known as RAB (Regulated Asset Base), has already been used to finance some large infrastructure projects, including the £4.2bn Thames Tideway "super-sewer".

It allows investors to receive returns before the projects have been completed.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Wylfa Newydd has the potential to create about 9,000 jobs during its construction stage

The government said RAB had "the potential to attract significant investment for new nuclear projects at a lower cost to customers."

But it said "significant challenges" remained, including raising capital and creating appropriate risk sharing arrangements.

The government has invited responses to the proposals, set out in a consultation paper. A White Paper on energy is expected later in the year.

Wylfa Newydd has the potential to create about 9,000 jobs during construction and could have ripple effects throughout the whole of Wales, by bringing £5.7bn to the Welsh economy, according to independent research.

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