Businesses in the South West, many of them SME’s, have already been awarded contracts worth in excess of £9m relating to EDF Energy’s proposed project to build a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point.
This forms part of a total figure of almost £16.7m spent regionally which includes support provided as part of pre-application costs for the project.
Electricians, tree planters, tractor providers, office suppliers, taxi companies and bakeries are just some of the local firms which have supplied products and services to the project, where initial investigative and enabling work is underway, prior to other approvals being given..
The contracts follow a series of supply chain engagement events which EDF Energy has held since it put forward plans to build two new reactors at their site at Hinkley Point. The events, held both nationally and regionally, were designed to inform UK firms about the project and to encourage them to bid for contracts relating to the plans.
The company has carried out an extensive public consultation on its plans and intends to apply later this year for consent to develop the project. The procurement for EDF Energy’s UK new build programme is also already underway and is expected to lead to the tendering of about 150 contracts worth many billions of pounds.
Alan Cumming, EDF Energy’s Deputy Director of Procurement, Construction & Project controls for Nuclear New Build said: “It has been 20 years since a new nuclear power station was built in this country. Our project creates a great opportunity for UK companies to get involved and will help the UK’s economic recovery.
“We have been engaging with Somerset companies from the start, telling them about the project and how they can get involved so I’m really pleased that so many local firms are working with us already.
“We’re very early on in the project but even now there’s a wide range of local companies involved and this can only increase if the project gets the various permissions to proceed.
“We expect to have several thousand people working onsite during the construction phase and expect at least 5,000 jobs to go to local people during the construction period. There’s a whole range of contracts for services and supplies to be awarded. Many of these do not relate to the nuclear element of the project.
“We want to ensure that local companies are involved at every level of this project, from engineering and construction to supplying the pasties.”
David Greenslade of Cannington-based Greenslades Grounds Maintenance said: “We’ve been involved in a number of different projects, including most recently planting 12,000 trees and shrubs to screen the site. It’s great to see EDF Energy using local firms as a key part of their plans. I’d encourage other local companies to seize the opportunities that are up for grabs.”
So far more than 800 companies have registered their interest for work on EDF Energy’s supply chain website, hosted by Somerset Chamber of Commerce – http://www.hinkleysupplychain.co.uk/
In addition to engaging directly with local businesses, EDF Energy is also helping to prepare local people for work by investing more than £6 million in local colleges to develop local skills.
If given the go-ahead, the project is expected to give a huge boost to the local economy. This has been independently estimated to be worth £100 million during each year of the construction of the project and £40 million during each year of operation of the power station.