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FID announcement welcomed by local businesses

The Final Investment Decision (FID) taken by EDF to proceed with the £18billion construction of Hinkley Point C has been warmly welcomed by the Somerset Chamber of Commerce and local suppliers as being a great boost for the Somerset and South West economy.


The Somerset Chamber has been supporting the engagement with the South West Hinkley supply chain on behalf of EDF Energy since 2010. This has involved capturing supplier details and mapping their core capabilities against the project requirements, with over 3,200 supplier details now captured and mapped.

 

The Hinkley Point C construction will be undertaken through around 160 main ‘Tier 1’ contractors, each needing support from their supply chain of Tier 2s, who will in turn need support from Tier 3 and 4 companies. This extensive supply chain will involve thousands of local, regional, national and international suppliers.

 

Speaking following the FID announcement, Chris Langdon, Project Lead for the Somerset Chamber’s Hinkley Supply Chain Team, said, 

“This is very positive news for local businesses registered on the supply chain portal as it means that contracts with a number of Tier 1 preferred bidders can now be signed, leading to full mobilisation of teams and works on site, with real opportunities arising for the local supply chain.
 
“The Hinkley Supply Chain Team will continue to engage with EDF Energy and Tier 1 teams to identify opportunities early and drive the engagement process, sourcing and promoting the most capable suppliers against identified requirements. We will also continue to capture supplier capability for Somerset and the South West, as well as stimulating and facilitating collaboration where relevant.
 
“We encourage all suppliers already on the supply chain portal to review their registration and ensure all details are fully up-to-date. Other businesses interested in the opportunity that Hinkley Point C presents should register immediately – registration is free of charge and there are still many opportunities for businesses on the portal to be part of the project over the coming months and years.”

Dale Edwards, Chief Executive of the Somerset Chamber of Commerce, said, 

“The final investment decision by EDF Energy for the construction of Hinkley Point C is a significant and positive shot in the arm for the South West and South Wales economies. The anticipated £18billion investment over the next decade is likely to result in over £100million per year spent in the local economy, providing an important boost for economic growth and job creation. 
 
“In addition, the project will bring long term opportunities as it will be looked upon as a blueprint for how nuclear power plants will be built in the future, delivering a legacy for Somerset, the South West and the United Kingdom as a whole.
 
“I am delighted that EDF and the Tier 1 contractors for this project have committed to proactively engage with businesses across the region. Opportunities and contracts have already been presented and awarded to companies in Somerset, Bristol, Devon, Dorset, Wiltshire, Cornwall and South Wales, with the aim of up to 80% of the total site services spend being awarded to Somerset based businesses and consortia.
 
“The Hinkley Supply Chain consortium – which comprises the Somerset Chamber of Commerce, Business West and SWMAS – is aiming to maximise the potential of the Hinkley Point C development for the region’s businesses. The opportunity to build and create a meaningful legacy is a once-in-a-generation opening and I encourage businesses across the region to explore the benefit it can bring to them and their communities.”

The Hinkley Supply Chain Team is working closely with specialist business organisations across the South West in order to increase both the capability and capacity within the Hinkley supply chain.

 

Five local supplier groups involving 20 local and regional businesses have already been announced as preferred bidders for contracts with a value of around £225million. Over the last few years, contracts to the value of £50million have been awarded and are being delivered by almost 200 suppliers in Somerset, with another £58million worth of contracts currently with suppliers across the South West.

 

Somerset Larder is one of the supplier groups already working on site at Hinkley Point C, having won the catering contract. Managing Director Greg Parsons explains what this decision means for the group. 

“Although we have been planning for nearly five years, we can now fully mobilise the team that will deliver the best, locally sourced, construction site food that the UK has ever witnessed. We can confidently re-engage our supply chain and build the resilience that will be needed to deliver quality food to up to 5,600 people per day at peak. In addition, we can ramp up our recruitment and training programme to create a level of food and beverage skills in the area that will not only help to keep the nation’s lights on, but also be part of the Somerset Larder legacy as the ‘go to’ solution for field-to-fork products and service in the West Country.”

Somerset Passenger Solutions is the preferred bidder for the provision and management of a bus fleet to transport workers to and from the Hinkley Point C site for the construction of the new nuclear build. Chairman Jonathan Jones-Pratt says, “This news is something of a door we have been waiting to see opened for a long time, meaning that the legacy of the investment in Hinkley Point C can now begin. This is an important date for all of us and great news for our training academy too, which will create over 300 new jobs within the next three years. We are so proud to be able to reinvest in our county and grow a vision that will bring excitement, enthusiasm and security to all those we employ.”

 

Another local supplier alliance hoping to benefit from the Hinkley Point C development is the Somerset Steelwork Group, which is made up of six family-owned manufacturing businesses. With a combined output of 14,000T of steelwork every year and a total workforce of 285 skilled people there is a good possibility that some elements of Hinkley Point C’s metalwork could be sourced locally.

 

The Haley Group is one of the suppliers in the consortium and has already provided embedment plates for the project. Director Bill Haley says, 

“The Somerset Steelwork Group is delighted at the go-ahead for the new Hinkley Point C power station. We have been preparing for all the opportunities this provides to our businesses by improving our quality systems to nuclear level and by investing in new plant and training, right from the initiation of the project. Our ambition is to be a local, reliable and long-standing partner for the Hinkley construction and to take advantage of working on Hinkley Point C to embed ourselves permanently in the long-term nuclear construction market.”

Hinkley Point C is expected to boost the South West regional economy by £100million per year during the peak of the construction period, boosting business capability and productivity, improving skills levels in the workforce, and attracting high quality firms to the region.

 

The Somerset Chamber of Commerce manages the Hinkley supply chain portal and is the first point of contact for Somerset and South West businesses wishing to engage in the construction of the proposed nuclear new build project. 


For information on registration, work packages and much more, visit www.hinkleysupplychain.co.uk

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