Sellafield Ltd is looking for specialist suppliers to help with the job of cleaning up and decommissioning the historic nuclear site which dates back to the 1940s. The work will be for 10 years and will be valued at up to £1.5 billion.
Chief Decommissioning Officer Jack DeVine explained: “Our job in decommissioning is very simple and very, very important – it is to accelerate risk and hazard reduction at Sellafield. To help us complete this clean-up mission, and building on our own experience, we are adding a new dimension to our engagement with the supply chain. Essentially we will put in place a commercial mechanism so that we can very quickly and efficiently pull together specialist resources for decommissioning work to supplement our existing workforce.
“Some 11,000 people work at Sellafield and I have no doubt that there is nowhere else in the world with the same concentration of nuclear experience and skills. However, we’ve committed to accelerating the clean-up of Sellafield and to do this we need external assistance to carry out specialist work that we can’t cover with our own in-house workforce.”
The Decommissioning Delivery Partnership (DDP) as it’s called is not a traditional contract but a commercial framework agreement that can be called upon when support is required. There is no guaranteed work or committed expenditure however the rewards to the chosen suppliers could be great.
Sellafield Ltd currently receives decommissioning services through a four year Decommissioning Framework Agreement (DFA2) which was awarded to Astrel, Cumbria Nuclear Solution Ltd, DEV Nuclear and Nuvia Ltd in June 2011 – this arrangement has been very helpful. However, four year frameworks do not permit adequate continuity in the long-term for complex programmes such as decommissioning.
Project Manager Angela Mackintosh said: “Awarding a longer-term ten year arrangement provides better security of demand for the supply chain which in turn drives innovation and provides socio-economic benefits through investment in people, technology and infrastructure.
“We want to see positive wider economic benefits to the local community from the enormous amount of public money spent at Sellafield. To get maximum benefit for every pound spent, we would like our suppliers to commit to the local area and help to grow the local supply chain. This in turn should improve the skill base of the local area and create new business opportunities which will be a win-win for everyone.”
The formal stage of the acquisition process, when Sellafield Ltd gives legal notices in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) and begins pre-qualification of interested contractors has now began. This will be followed by a tendering process at the end of 2014, leading to the announcement of the preferred suppliers in mid 2015.
Sellafield Ltd will continue to concentrate on core skills and will use the new framework to work seamlessly together with suppliers on priority decommissioning jobs. The work has been split into three lots and the consortia chosen will work collaboratively with Sellafield Ltd to provide services including: surveying and assessing jobs; planning and engineering; decontamination; manufacturing and installation of plant and equipment; dismantling and demolitions, and waste management.
Ian Whitehouse, Head of Commercial for Decommissioning said: “The estimated £1.5 billion spend over 10 years is not new money but is included in our budgeted performance plan. Bringing in external suppliers will mean that we can meet our clean-up commitments to our customer the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) and to our safety regulator the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR). Safety is non negotiable and we expect our suppliers to maintain our high standards at Sellafield. We also have a duty to get value for money for UK taxpayers and this commercial framework has been set up ensure decommissioning progress is never held up by a bid process and we can maximize the number of workfaces.
“We’ve hosted two market engagement days with potential suppliers and contractors came from all over the world to find out about the £1.5 billion DDP. There are opportunities for suppliers big and small to work together in consortiums to bid for the separate lots which are focused on our legacy ponds and silos at Sellafield.”