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Horizon appoints ex-CH2M and T&T director for commercial role

Horizon Nuclear Power, the firm behind new nuclear projects at Wylfa Newydd and Oldbury, has appointed a new commercial director.

Ivor Sheppard, who has worked in Qatar with CH2M on the country’s World Cup 2020 programme and in the United Arab Emirates as bid manager with Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation, joined Horizon in September.

He was also previously a director at Turner & Townsend, covering Heathrow Terminals 5 and 3, the London 2012 Olympics, and the Shard, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Programme director Carl Devlin confirmed Mr Sheppard’s appointment at the CN Summit 2016, where he outlined Horizon’s plan for delivering Wylfa Newydd, a £10bn new nuclear project in North Wales.

The delivery team for the project was confirmed in May, with engineers Bechtel and Japanese energy specialists JGC and Hitachi forming a consortium with client Menter Newydd.

Mr Devlin said the scheme will bring £20bn of investment into the UK, 60 per cent of which “can be delivered by UK businesses”.

He described the project as “a very, very complex jigsaw that we need to put together”, and said “at least 95 per cent” of the design will be completed before construction of the scheme begins.

“People can be too keen to get started and it’s a mistake that costs you,” he said.

The project’s timeline points to a final investment decision in 2019 with major earthworks getting under way in the same year, and the first nuclear concrete being poured on site in 2020.

However, in July this year, the Welsh affairs committee said the project should be built only “if the strike price is below that agreed for Hinkley Point C and competitive with renewable sources”.

Horizon is yet to decide a strike price with the government for the Wylfa Newydd project.

However, Mr Devlin said the project’s focus would be “all about predictability” in terms of cost, particularly during the construction phase.

He added that the firm would be “structuring EPC contracts that are incentivised to perform”, and that contracts would be “incentivised around the same objectives all from tier two supply chain downwards”.

“We’ve built this plant four times before and we need to keep as true to our references points as we can to keep costs at an acceptable level,” he said.

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