At the event EDF Energy will announce a package of new contracts including the selection of KIER BAM as preferred bidder for a £100million–plus contract for site preparation works at Hinkley Point C.
The contract will create an estimated 350 UK jobs from next year with many workers under this contract living locally to Hinkley Point. The work, which is subject to clearance of planning conditions, includes excavation, earthworks, terracing, installation of construction site infrastructure and formation of roads and networks to allow main construction to begin.
The preparatory works will be followed by the main construction works which will see over 20,000 people work on site over the course of the project.
A second announcement today as part of EDF Energy’s plans, with Centrica, to build a new twin-reactor nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C in Somerset is an agreement with AREVA in relation to the early design work for the main reactor systems. This will allow AREVA to begin the work in January.
This agreement is a critical step to develop detailed equipment specifications that will be used to ask companies to bid for equipment supply contracts.
The agreement comes as AREVA is starting to produce the heavy forgings required for critical reactor components, following a contract signed between the companies in July.
Thirdly, EDF Energy will today announce a £15 million investment to establish a world class national training centre in partnership with Bridgwater College in Somerset.
Building on existing work with the college, this facility will address potential skills shortages in the energy sector by delivering professional training and providing a legacy of growth in the local community.
As well as developing the skills of EDF Energy employees, this is a key initiative to help fill gaps in the energy sector skills base, including for new technologies.
Speaking at the event in London EDF Energy Chief Executive Vincent de Rivaz will say:
“This is part of the growth agenda. The contracts we are announcing today will secure over 500 jobs and provide an immediate economic boost. This is just the beginning. Our project will inject billions of pounds into the economy, revitalise entire sectors of industry and support tens of thousands of jobs.
“Furthermore, our £15-million national training centre in Somerset will help a new generation of young people develop the skills they need for a bright future and a long term career.
“Today’s announcements demonstrate that UK nuclear new build is on track and gaining momentum. All this has been made possible by the major progress this year.
“This includes the significant vote by the UK Parliament to endorse the national policy for nuclear, implementation of the carbon price floor and progress on wider electricity market reform, resolution from the local authorities to grant permission to begin work on the site, acceptance of EDF Energy’s planning application by the Infrastructure Planning Commission and significant progress on the EPR design.”
Treasury Minister Lord Sassoon said:
“The reliable provision of energy is critical to the country’s prosperity and nuclear power has a vital role to play in that vision. We welcome EDF Energy’s appetite for investment in the UK’s nuclear programme. In particular, EDF Energy’s £15 million investment in the national training centre in Somerset will help create a highly skilled and competitive workforce: this is good news for the UK.
Energy Minister Charles Hendry said:
“Making progress on major energy construction projects is critical to our energy security. New power stations will also play a big role in supporting jobs and driving growth across the country. We have made significant progress in the last 12 months on facilitating investment to the UK’s new nuclear programme. Up to 20,000 jobs could be on offer at Hinkley Point C and so it will be crucial that all elements of the UK’s nuclear supply chain are engaged at every stage of its construction.
“This conference presents an excellent opportunity for companies to get involved in delivering an investment equivalent to that of the 2012 Olympics while helping to secure the UK’s low carbon energy future.”
Hinkley Point C will generate about 6% of the UK’s electricity, and all of it low carbon: enough to meet the needs of about 5 million homes.