Horizon gears up for expansion

20 March 2014

Horizon Nuclear Power is ramping up its workforce in preparation for constructing two new nuclear power plants in the UK. The company is also building larger headquarters.

Horizon new HQ 250
How Horizon's new headquarters will look
(Image: Horizon)

Horizon, which was acquired by Hitachi of Japan in November 2012, plans to build two Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWRs) at both its Wylfa site on the island of Anglesey in north Wales and its Oldbury site in Gloucestershire. The units would be the first commercial boiling water reactors in the country. 

The company expects to increase its workforce from the current 150 people to some 400 and is now recruiting at a rate of around 100 people per year. It noted that up to 6000 jobs would be created during the construction of the new Wylfa and Oldbury plants and around 1000 permanent jobs will be created at each of the sites once the plants are operational.

Horizon chief operating officer Alan Raymant said, "Horizon is growing quickly. Our activity continues to ramp up and we're developing an organization capable of delivering large-scale, complex, infrastructure projects."

Horizon's head of corporate affairs Leon Flexman told World Nuclear News, "At the moment the priority areas are probably specialisms such as a range of engineering functions, licensing, permissions and planning." He added, "Having said that, before we build the power stations, we have to build the company further, so we're looking for the whole range of skills including corporate support functions too." 

With its growing workforce, Horizon is also planning to move into larger headquarters. The company, currently based at Gloucester Business Park, is having new, custom-built premises constructed for it on the same site. The new building will be available in 2016. 

Project timescale

This month, Horizon began detailed ground investigations at the Wylfa site. The program, which will run until the end of the year, requires the drilling of some 400 boreholes and trial pits across the site. Up to 100 people will carry out this work during busy periods.

Horizon expects to have all the required licences and permissions in place for the Wylfa Newydd project by 2018. It is planning on the basis of site works beginning around 2015, leading to the start of major on-site work in 2018 and first nuclear construction around 2019. Horizon said that the start of commercial operation of the plant depends on the timing of a final investment decision and detailed construction program, but is expected in the first half of the 2020s.

Construction is not expected to begin at Oldbury until the late 2020s or early 2030s.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News