Hitachi buys nuclear power joint venture for $1.1 billion

October 30, 2012 — Japanese manufacturing company Hitachi Ltd. will purchase the U.K.-based nuclear power development joint venture Horizon Nuclear Power from two of Germany’s largest energy companies, E.On and RWE.

According to the companies involved, this transaction — to be completed in a month — will secure financial backing for as many as six new nuclear reactors at a pair of sites in the U.K. E.On and RWE are withdrawing from doing business in Germany as the companies’ home country is closing its own nuclear power plants.

As a company, Hitachi has a goal to double its involvement in nuclear manufacturing to $4.5 billion. U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron has put new nuclear on his country’s agenda. This business deal could move both parties closer to fulfilling their respective goals.

In June 2012, a pair of Chinese state-owned companies offered to buy the Horizon joint venture for $24 billion. The consortium has been trying to develop the nuclear power plants since January 2009.

Earlier this month, Areva SA and China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group pulled out of their bid to buy the joint venture.

The planned sites for the proposed plants are Oldbury and Wylfa, and the plants would have a combined capacity of 6 GW. The company plans to start operation of one of the units in the first half of the 2020s.

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