US-Japanese consortium to build Anglesey nuclear plant
A US-Japanese construction consortium has been created to build the £14 billion Wylfa Newydd nuclear plant on the Isle of Anglesey in Wales.
Horizon Nuclear Power appointed joint venture partners Hitachi Nuclear Energy Europe, Bechtel Management Company and Japan’s JGC Corporation to deliver the project already billed as a rival to Hinkley Point C.
Between them, the partners — now known collectively as Menter Newydd — have been involved in the construction of 170 nuclear power stations worldwide.
The Guardian has reported that Hitachi is hoping to have the 2,700MW reactors on stream by 2025. The design for the reactors has already been utilised in a number of Japanese power plants, though it has not yet been approved in the UK.
Duncan Hawthorne, Horizon CEO, said: “This is an important step in any large, complex infrastructure project and it adds to Wylfa Newydd’s growing momentum.
“The depth and breadth of expertise Hitachi Nuclear Energy Europe, Bechtel and JGC bring to the Menter Newydd venture will help us ensure the timely delivery of our project, which will be vital for meeting the UK’s energy gap and boosting the local economy in North Wales for decades to come.
UK Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom welcomed the news as part of a new era for energy in Britain. She said: “I am pleased to see that Wylfa Newydd in Wales is progressing.
“We have to replace our ageing energy infrastructure and new nuclear is an essential part of our plan to power the country now and for the next generation.”
Toyota unveils electric van and Volvo opens fuel cell lab
Toyota is launching its first zero emission battery electric vehicle, the Proace Electric medium-duty panel van, across Europe.
The model, which offers a choice of 50 or 75kWh lithium-ion batteries with range of up to 205 miles, is being rolled out in the UK, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Sweden.
At present, alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs, including battery electric vehicles) account for only a fraction – around 1.8 per cent – of new light commercial van sales in the UK, but a number of factors are accelerating demand for practical alternatives to vans with conventional internal combustion engines.
Low and zero emission zones are coming into force to reduce local pollution and improve air quality in urban centres, at the same time as rapid growth in ecommerce is generating more day-to-day delivery traffic.
Meanwhile the opening of Volvo's first dedicated fuel cell test lab in Volvo Group, marks a significant milestone in the manufacturer’s ambition to be fossil-free by 2040.
Fuel cells work by combining hydrogen with oxygen, with the resulting chemical reaction producing electricity. The process is completely emission-free, with water vapour being the only by-product.
Toni Hagelberg, Head of Sustainable Power at Volvo CE, says fuel cell technology is a key enabler of sustainable solutions for heavier construction machines, and this investment provides another vital tool in its work to reach targets.
"The lab will also serve Volvo Group globally, as it’s the first to offer this kind of advanced testing," he said.
The Fuel Cell Test Lab is a demonstration of the same dedication to hydrogen fuel cell technology, as the recent launch of cell centric, a joint venture by Volvo Group and Daimler Truck to accelerate the development, production and commercialization of fuel cell solutions within long-haul trucking and beyond. Both form a key part of the Group’s overall ambition to be 100% fossil free by 2040.