Hitachi to buy nuclear project for £700m from E.On and RWE


The Telegraph have reported,

Hitachi, the energy and engineering company, has agreed to buy Britainís nuclear project Horizon for an estimated £700m in a deal which could create up to 12,000 jobs in the country.

The venture was put up for sale by German companies E.ON and RWE, which decided to sell in March after Germany said it will close all of its reactors after last years nuclear disaster in Japan, prompting the utilities to pull back from the atomic industry worldwide.

The BBC have a similar report.

The UK government have designated eight sites, next to existing nuclear power stations, for the construction of new nuclear facilities. E.ON and RWE have reactors at two of those sites, Wylfa in Anglesey and Oldbury near Bristol.

Initially it was not clear to me what Hitachi are buying. Horizon is a company set up and owned by E.ON and RWE. It appears Horizon Nuclear Power, to give its full title, owns the two new sites and has obviously carried out some preparatory work regarding those sites, such as preliminary negotiations with National Grid and Central and Local government. Also consultation with local communities.

Hitachi paying £700m for Horizon still seems to be an awful lot of money. As the German crowd do not wish to proceed with those new power stations, why is it necessary for Hitachi to pay for the privilege. Horizon's only real grip is the land, worth only a fraction of £700m.

Surely the UK government should put a compulsory purchase order on the land, in the national interest as they are designated sites, and simply tell the Germans to clear off. At the end of the day that £700m will be recovered, one way or another, from the tax paying public.

Naturally Hitachi's involvement is not a done deal, they are in negotiations with the government about a guaranteed minimum price for their electricity. They are after a gravy train from the tax payer, like all the other potential players in the industry.


Having my loft insulated for free


I have been receiving those annoying calls, mostly international, offering free insulation. Naturally they have the air of some con or other. Eventually I gave in and a man called the other day to measure up, yes its absolutely free.

It seems the government has set all the energy companies a target to insulate peoples homes for free. If the companies don't meet their targets by the end of this year they can be heavily fined. This is why there is a mad rush to sign people up. Apparently when a company reaches its target the offers will cease. He said Scottish Power, who he was contracting for, would probably hit target by mid November.

Scottish Power had my details as I was a customer many years ago, they supplied my electricity for several years at a competitive price. Then they tried it on by whopping up the unit price. Naturally I changed supplier.

Of course does anyone really believe its free, no its paid for by the high electricity and gas prices.

Update 31/10/2012

Well the man has been and put in 200mm of insulation, on top of the existing 100mm, and fixed a draft excluder round the hatch. Took about one and a half hours.

He worked very quietly, no bring the ceiling down sort of thing. I shall monitor electricity consumption over the winter to see what difference it makes, if any.