Energy giants RWE and Eon have pulled out of their joint venture Horizon and will no longer pursue new nuclear projects in the UK, it has been confirmed.
The firms blamed the global economy, concerns over long payback periods and the accelerated phase out of nuclear energy by Germany for their decision but said that they would attempt to find a new owner for Horizon.
Horizon was set to develop nuclear power stations at Wylfa in North Wales and Oldbury in the South West.
“Eon and RWE’s withdrawal is clearly very disappointing, but the partners have clearly explained that this decision was based on pressures elsewhere in their businesses and not any doubts about the role of nuclear in UK’s energy future,” said energy minister Charles Hendry.
Reasons for the decision
The global economic crisis has meant that capital for major projects is at a premium and nuclear power projects are particularly large scale, with very long lead times and payback periods
The effect of the accelerated nuclear phase out in Germany, which has led to RWE adopting a number of measures, including divestments, a capital increase, efficiency enhancements and a leaner capital expenditure budget