Bechtel, the global engineering and construction firm, today announced it has been selected, with joint venture partners Hitachi Nuclear Energy Europe, Ltd. and Japan Gas Corporation, to deliver a new, two-reactor nuclear plant in Wales, United Kingdom for plant owner Horizon Nuclear Power.
The agreement brings together the capabilities of three industry leaders. Bechtel has delivered megaprojects in the UK including the Channel Tunnel, High Speed 1, and Crossrail for more than 60 years and has performed services on more than 150 nuclear power plants worldwide. Hitachi-GE will provide the Generation III+ Advanced Boiling Water Reactors to be used at the plant – the most advanced reactors in commercial operation in the world today. Japan Gas Corporation has engineered and built refineries and power plants since 1928.
“We’re eager to bring our experience and capabilities to this important project for the UK’s nuclear power program,” said Craig Albert, president of Bechtel’s Nuclear, Security, & Environmental global business unit. “The technology is proven and reliable, the UK has a supply chain that’s ready to grow, and the plant will help the UK meet its energy demand and carbon reduction targets.”
The joint venture will be called Menter Newydd, which means “new venture” in Welsh. It will initially provide front-end engineering and construction planning prior to full construction, expected by 2020. Horizon Nuclear Power’s Wylfa Newydd plant will provide low-carbon nuclear energy to up to 5 million homes. Construction will create 8,000 to 10,000 jobs at peak periods and the plant will employ around 850 permanent employees on the Isle of Anglesey, adjacent to the site of two older UK reactors scheduled for decommissioning.
Bechtel is a global leader in delivery of completed commercial nuclear projects. In 2015, Bechtel completed construction on Watts Bar Unit 2 in the state of Tennessee, the first U.S. reactor to received authorization to operate this century. The workforce achieved more than 33 million consecutive hours without a day lost to injury and a 98 percent quality control acceptance rate on first-time inspections – both remarkable in the construction industry.
“Completing a nuclear power plant requires an incredibly complex and highly qualified supply chain and workforce,” said Ty Troutman, general manager of Bechtel’s nuclear power business. “It takes daily cooperation between the site owner, the supply chain, the local community, and the specialist workforce. We are looking to repeat this success in the UK and keep nuclear power generation, jobs and skills in Anglesey for decades to come.”