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Energy boost: Norton Rose and A&O power £10bn Welsh nuclear joint venture

Norton Rose Fulbright and Allen & Overy (A&O) have advised as Horizon Nuclear Power has announced its joint venture for a £10bn nuclear power plant in Wales.

British energy company Horizon principally used its in-house capability, with support from Allen & Overy for the new plant at Wylfa Newydd on the Isle of Anglesey. A&O global projects head Gareth Price led advice for Horizon. The firm has been advising Horizon and its owner Hitachi since the Japanese firm bought Horizon in 2012 and has been advising on its new build nuclear projects in the UK.

Norton Rose advised Hitachi Nuclear Energy Europe, one of three joint venture partners for the 2,700MW nuclear plant. The other members of the joint venture, dubbed Menter Newydd, which means ‘new venture’ in Welsh, are US-firm Bechtel and Japanese company JGC Corporation. These companies were advised by their in-house counsel.

Leading Norton Rose’s advice on the deal, nuclear energy and water group head Peter Hall said: ‘It is clear from recent UK Government statements that nuclear new build has a key role to play in securing a low carbon and sustainable energy mix going forward. We are delighted to have played our part in meeting that objective by helping to build the growing momentum behind the Wylfa Newydd project.’

The Horizon project is set to come online around the same time as EDF’s Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant, which is expected to start power output in 2026. Horizon, which was formed in 2009, is also planning another major nuclear power station at Oldbury in South Gloucestershire.

The new boost for nuclear power follows high-profile mandates for Magic Circle firms which have picked up major clean energy projects.

Last month, Linklaters advised on a £2.6bn Scottish wind farm project alongside Norton Rose, while in May the firm alongside Allen & Overy advised on the £1.3bn Dudgeon wind farm project, which is under construction off the Norfolk coast.