British companies should seize every opportunity to play their part in the construction of new nuclear reactors on Anglesey and in Oldbury, said the Secretary of State for Wales, David Jones following a visit to 2 major nuclear sites in Japan.
On Thursday (14 March), Mr Jones was greeted by Hitachi President, Hiroaki Nakanishi, Hitachi Vice President, Masaharu Hanuy and over 200 employees waving Welsh flags at Hitachi City near Tokyo. Here, he heard how plans to build new nuclear plants in the UK are progressing, and toured the Hitachi Works nuclear production site.
On Friday (15 March), Mr Jones visited the Ohma nuclear power plant which is currently under construction. Accompanied by officials from Hitachi, the Department of Energy and Climate Change and the Welsh Government, Mr Jones met with the owners and operators, J-Power who escorted him on a tour of the site where he was able to see first hand the construction of an advanced boiling water reactor.
Mr Jones took the opportunity to discuss the wealth of supply chain opportunities for UK companies during the construction phase of the planned nuclear reactors. Hitachi has already said that it expects that around 60% of the supply chain involved in building the nuclear power stations will be UK companies.
The Secretary of State visited the Hitachi fabrication facility on site and discussed how the Government can best assist the company in the development of a similar facility in the UK.
Following the visits, Mr Jones said:
I was delighted to have the opportunity to accept the invitation to meet with Hitachi executives and to hear how plans to build the nuclear reactors in the UK are progressing.
Hitachi’s investment in Horizon, and its ambition to delivering more than 60% of UK content in the construction of its reactors, is of huge importance to the local and national economies of Wales and the rest of the UK.
Over the last two days, I have been able to get a clear understanding of the operation of Hitachi’s global supply chain and I want to ensure that UK, and Welsh companies in particular, take advantage of this unique opportunity, and leverage it to springboard into other international markets.
Hitachi President, Hiroaki Nakanishi said:
It was an honour to host the Secretary of State for Wales at our Rinkai Works, and to show him first hand the highly skilled manufacturing processes of which we are so very proud.
Later on in the day, the party also took the opportunity to discuss the £4.9 billion Intercity Express Programme (IEP) contract with Agility Trains, a consortium led by Hitachi, to build almost 600 new intercity train carriages for the East Coast and Great Western Main Lines. The trains will be built at its new European manufacturing facility at Amazon Park in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham.
The investment in high quality, modern, higher capacity IEP trains, builds on the ongoing programme of improvements to the rail network, including the electrification of the Great Western Main Line to Swansea and the Cardiff Valley Lines. A Servicing Depot will also be constructed at the Swansea Maliphant site, a short distance from Swansea Station, with construction work set to commence in 2015.
Mr Jones added:
“Hitachi’s continued investment here is a further reinforcement of the confidence they have in the UK from the workforce, to land and location.
In January this year, I had the opportunity to visit the Amazon Park site in County Durham and was able to hear first-hand what Hitachi’s investment in the UK will mean for the future of rail in the country.
The commitment to build a Servicing Depot in Swansea will also create much needed jobs and attract business opportunities to South Wales. I look forward to seeing the projects develop.
Notes for editors
- On 14 March, the British Ambassador to Japan hosted an evening reception for the Global President and senior executives from Hitachi nuclear and rail team.
- In October last year, the Hitachi signed a deal to purchase Horizon Nuclear Power, which has the rights to build reactors at Wylfa on Anglesey, north Wales, and Oldbury in Gloucestershire.
- Up to 6,000 jobs are expected to be created during construction at each site, with a further 1,000 permanent jobs at both locations once operational.
- For further information, please contact the Wales Office communications team on 029 2092 4204 / 020 7270 1362