In an interesting turn of events for the UK energy market, E.ON and RWE npower have today pulled out of their 50-50 joint-venture: Horizon Nuclear Power. The companies say they do not plan to go ahead with the new nuclear plants, and will instead “focus on other strategic projects that will deliver earlier benefit for customers and the company.”

E.ON and RWE will now look for alternative investors to work on the 6GW Horizon project.

According to reports, the decision to drop Horizon was made following a full review and against the backdrop of wider financial constraints. RWE outlined that a number of factors have changed since the formation of Horizon in 2009, including the global economic crisis and the accelerated nuclear phase out in Germany.

A combination of these factors has led to the decision to abandon the plans. Senior figures from E.ON, RWE and Horizon informed Horizon staff of the decision at its headquarters near Gloucester this morning.

Dr Tony Cocker, Chief Executive of E.ON UK, commented: “E.ON has decided to focus its investment in the UK on other strategic projects that will allow us to deliver earlier benefit for customers and our company, rather than the very long term and large investment new nuclear power calls for.

“Our commitment to the UK remains as strong as ever and as our track record shows, with over £1bn of investment in the last year alone, we will continue to select the right projects in which to invest.”

Dr. Cocker continued: “Today we informed staff of our decision and we will now make sure that, as we seek investors to take over the running of this project, we will provide all affected colleagues with the necessary help and support they require.”

Volker Beckers, Chief Executive Officer, RWE npower, said: “RWE npower has more than 12,000 employees and has invested more than three times its profits in the UK over recent years. We remain committed to the need for significant investment in low carbon energy technologies. RWE has invested over £1.2 billion into new renewable energy in Britain over the last three years, and more than £1.6 billion into new, highly efficient, flexible gas-fired power stations over the same period. In the same period, RWE has been one of the largest investor in Wales in any sector.”

E.ON continues to invest in projects across the UK and the company's wider UK plans will be unaffected by today’s decision.