Colchester-based Ovivo awarded £27m contract for Hinkley Point C nuclear plant

(L to R) Jim Crawford, Sizewell C project development director with Mark Hodder, Ovivo general manag

(L to R) Jim Crawford, Sizewell C project development director with Mark Hodder, Ovivo general manager and Jeremy Lee, Ovivo sales manager at their offices in Colchester - Credit: Archant

Colchester-based water treatment business Ovivo has been awarded a £27million contract to supply key components for EDF Energy’s Hinkley Point C (HPC) nuclear plant in Somerset.

The deal will see the Essex firm design and supply the cooling water intake screening system that will filter the huge amounts of sea water required to cool the nuclear reactors. When completed it is expected to be the largest system of its kind in the world.

The company has a rich heritage in this sector and provided similar systems for the Hinkley Point A and B reactors, as well as for the Sizewell A and B nuclear plants on the Suffolk coast.

European sales manager Jeremy Lee said he was “delighted” with the news.

He said: “This is a great opportunity for us. It’s something we have been working on since 2008 when we were in early discussions with EDF Energy.

“We are delighted to have won the contract and we will be trying to use as many UK suppliers as possible.”

Mr Lee likened the cooling water intake screening systems to “giant hamster wheels” 27metres in diameter and 6.5 metres wide. A total of four of these screens will be built, each weighing 100 tonnes and designed to withstand seismic shocks.

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The equipment will be primarily designed at Ovivo’s Colchester office and manufactured at various approved facilities within the United Kingdom. Ovivo estimates that up to 80% of the equipment will be manufactured in the UK.

“We are already working with supply chain managers at EDF Energy to identify partners in the project who will be primarily from the west of the country in this instance,” said Mr Lee, who said the deal positions Ovivo well for any potential contracts that may come from the construction of the Sizewell C nuclear plant should the project be given the green light.

“We are in a good position and well-connected with EDF Energy,” he added

Humphrey Cadoux-Hudson, EDF Energy’s managing director for new nuclear build, said: “I am delighted that Ovivo UK in Essex has secured the contract for this important piece of work for HPC, it represents another important step in engaging the UK supply chain.”