Proven Nuclear Excellence: Horizon is ready
Ahead of the UK Infrastructure Show 2018, we speak to the event partners about the importance of infrastructure. In today’s article we speak with Duncan Hawthorne, CEO at Horizon Nuclear Power.
In ten years, a new generation of nuclear power stations will be up and running in the UK, providing sustainable, low-carbon energy for millions of homes and creating jobs for thousands of people.
Duncan Hawthorne, Chief Executive Officer, Horizon Nuclear Power says: “Horizon is now ready to deliver some of the most important pieces of energy infrastructure the UK has ever seen.
“As CEO of Horizon Nuclear Power, I’m proud that we’re uniquely positioned to deliver new nuclear energy generation for this country. And as we face a growing energy challenge, I’m confident Horizon offers a solution based on an unrivalled set of corporate and technical credentials.
Our team combines the very best of UK and global strengths and it will ultimately deliver clean, affordable, secure energy across two superb sites at Anglesey in North Wales and Oldbury-on-Severn in South Gloucestershire.
Supported by both the UK and Welsh Governments and backed by the worldwide strength of our owners, Hitachi, Ltd – the Horizon leadership team offers unequalled experience in the delivery of mega projects. Drawn globally from the nuclear power, complex infrastructure and international finance sectors, we’ve delivered transformational projects of this type before and we’re ready to do so again.
I’m encouraged too by our reactor technology. The UK ABWR is already tried and tested at a number of sites and even at this early stage, it gives us a huge advantage to know we can deliver it successfully on time and to budget in the UK.
As we continue to build on the excellent progress we’ve made so far, we know our projects will represent multi billion pounds of potential investment for the UK. Investment on this level will transform lives, drive the economy and modernise UK energy infrastructure on a scale we haven’t seen for generations.
Our aspirations are ultimately to see a fleet deployment for the UK ABWR and as we look to the immediate future, Horizon is ready with a new energy commitment that will span the next 100 years.”
We’re gathering momentum
Our chosen reactor technology has successfully completed the UK nuclear regulators’ stringent Generic Design Assessment (GDA), which assesses the potential suitability of a nuclear reactor design for development in the UK.
It’s a major leap forward for us in bringing much-needed new nuclear power to the UK, and is a testament to the strength of the combined team, and the proven nature of the technology, that the GDA process was completed on time. Similarly, we’ve spent several years readying Wylfa Newydd. We have a detailed understanding of its suitability and are preparing final proposals to efficiently manage what will soon become one of the biggest construction sites in Europe.
Our Development Consent Order application for Wylfa Newydd will be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate in the first half of 2018. With consent granted, we’ll be on our way to making our final investment decision and starting our major earth works to enable us to move into full construction.
By the mid-2020s we’ll be entering commercial operation of our first unit and delivering power to millions of homes and businesses. By the time that decade comes to an end, we will also have started construction on our second site at Oldbury and be well on our way to seeing our UK ABWR fleet established in the UK.
Nuclear more necessary than ever
Energy generating infrastructure in the UK is in critical need of renewal.
To keep the lights on, the UK needs around £110Bn of new investment over the next decade and a significant amount of new generating capacity. Many different methods of generation have a role to play with both renewables and nuclear energy needing to be part of the solution.
It’s clear that nuclear’s ability to deliver high volumes of low carbon energy makes it a vital part of the ongoing UK energy mix. By providing a steady, reliable flow of power to the grid, the UK will be able to utilise wind, solar and tidal whilst also ensuring a stable and robust electricity system.
The UK has a long history of safe and successful nuclear power, currently supplying around 45% of the UK’s low carbon power and, given the scale of the challenges ahead as we look to decarbonise not only our electricity system but also heat and transport, both nuclear and renewables will be needed if we are to succeed.
The best global talent and experience
From a practical perspective, we’re getting ready for construction and building what we call our ‘social licence’ to operate. This means we’ve already formed close, trusted relationships with our local stakeholders and communities. The proud history of nuclear generation on Anglesey means our project already enjoys strong levels of local support which we’ll work hard to maintain.
Our joint venture delivery partner – Menter Newydd – is in place and has already started to form local supply chains, ensuring the delivery partners we require will be primed and ready to start work.
Looking to our plans for operating our nuclear power stations we’ve recently partnered with JExel (a joint venture between Exelon and The Japan Atomic Power Company) and operational training partner, Tecnatom. These collaborations with such world-renowned companies complement the wealth of experience within our senior leadership team in nuclear, power, infrastructure delivery and finance sectors and the company has also started to bring on its own talent, with successful apprenticeship and graduate schemes helping to attract the brightest young minds, many of them from the community around Wylfa Newydd).
Investing in the future of UK energy
The commercial and financial requirements of nuclear new build are very different from what has gone before – so we need to explore new solutions to financing. Nuclear projects are simply too big to be undertaken by the private sector in isolation.
Government policy, both in England and Wales, is fully supportive of nuclear new build. The framework already in place makes the UK one of the leading markets in the world, demonstrating an understanding of the potential our industry represents.
The figures we deal with are significant. We will need to make a multi-billion pound investment to see our fleet of new nuclear reactors operational and delivering power to UK homes and businesses.
Fortunately, the scale of the benefits on offer are significant too. Our reactors will provide power to over 10 million homes. Our lead site, Wylfa Newydd, will require a construction workforce peaking at around 9,000 people. Our local investment in North Wales alone will be hundreds of millions during this period. When operational, we’ll continue to employ a local workforce of up to 850 people which will mean tens of millions more invested into Anglesey every year.
We’re already in close and positive discussions with the UK Government to agree a support package that will meet the specific needs of our project. In return, our commitment is that we will deliver at an affordable price and balance the needs of both our investors and consumers.
Ivor Sheppard, Commercial Director, Construction, Horizon Nuclear Power will be speaking at the UK Infrastructure show to give an overview of the latest progress at Wylfa Newydd Power Station on the Isle of Anglesey as it moves from development phase into construction phase; with a specific focus on supply chain opportunities for the UK and Wales supply chain.
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