Hitachi Ltd. on Wednesday announced that it was withdrawing from a long-planned British nuclear facility project, citing a gloomy business climate that has proved very disappointing for thousands of locals eager to land a job in its construction.
The scrapping of the Wylfa power project in Wales deals a heavy blow to the region's hopes of upgrading its aging power plants, despite funding from some investors all because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Bloomberg reported.
In a statement, the Japanese group disclosed the investment condition has become more and more "severe due to the impacts of COVID-19." The UK's plans of emerging a "zero-carbon" emission nation in the next three decades have thus come to naught. The nuclear power plant was projected to supply 6 percent of Britain's electricity.
Work has been halted on the program since January last year after Hitachi and the British government failed to reach a financing deal. The company booked a $2.9 billion writedown in 2019 as a result of the cancellation of the $28 billion project.
The Tokyo-headquartered multinational said that it would coordinate with the UK government and concerned agencies with regards to the management of the construction facilities and other pertinent matters.
Hitachi's decision leaves the CGN group of China and EDF of France with construction plans in the UK, where almost 50 percent of the region's nuclear facilities are scheduled for decommissioning in the next four years.
A representative from the Business Energy and Industrial Strategy said they are open to propositions of welcoming new nuclear initiatives "with any viable companies and investors who wish to develop locations in Britain."
According to Nuclear Industry Association chief executive Tom Greatrex, it is very important that "a way forward is found for the site to deliver thousands of jobs and millions of pounds of investment," Reuters quoted him as saying.
Meanwhile, Toshiba Corp., another Japanese group with a sizeable power infrastructure portfolio, has backed out of its nuclear power operations in the U.S.