Energy Chief lays out the business case for Sizewell C to Suffolk business leaders

Simone Rossi. Picture: David Garrad

Simone Rossi. Picture: David Garrad - Credit: Archant

The chief executive of EDF Energy Simone Rossi visited Suffolk to pitch his case for Sizewell C nuclear plant to more than 120 of Suffolk’s top business leaders.

Speaking to Suffolk Chamber of Commerce members on Friday, Simone Rossi outlined how Sizewell C will boost the local economy by acting as a catalyst for top-end engineering, construction and manufacturing jobs, creating 100 apprenticeships during construction and contributing £4 billion into the economy over the lifetime of the project.

“EDF Energy is working on robust proposals for the financing and the delivery of Sizewell C,” he said. “We know from our experience at Hinkley Point C, and indeed, looking back to the construction of Sizewell B, that this will be a catalyst for upskilling and economic prosperity across the region.”

Mr Rossi also told the businesspeople at Milsoms Kesgrave Hall about the company’s confidence in the boost the nuclear power station would give to the UK’s energy mix and security, and claimed that the ‘fleet effect’ whereby the costs of subsequent stations is lower than the original one would mean that the proposed Sizewell C and Bradwell B nuclear power stations on the east coast would each cost less than Hinckley C in Somerset.

Over 1300 companies are already preparing for potential opportunities that the nuclear power station could offer them by signing up to the Sizewell C Supply chain website, which is managed by Suffolk Chamber.

Suffolk Chamber is running the Sizewell C Supply Chain on behalf of EDF Energy, and their chief executive John Dugmore claimed that they are “very much looking forward to working with partners on expanding this and associated service.”

He added: “The business case for a new nuclear powers station at Sizewell gets more compelling by the month. The Government’s announcement of the Nuclear Sector Deal is especially timely.

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“The deal emphasises the importance of helping businesses to both get ‘nuclear ready’ and ensure that local supply chains are enhanced to maximise the positive impact of building new nuclear stations.”

But while he was visiting Suffolk, Mr Rossi declined invitations to meet up with representatives from the campaign groups against Sizewell C, such as Theberton and Eastbridge Action Group on Sizewell (TEAGS).

“Despite being in post for eight months and speaking about Sizewell regularly to the national media, Simone Rossi appears surprisingly reluctant to visit us,” said Paul Collins of TEAGS. “If EDF really wants to show its commitment to engagement, Simone Rossi will make it a priority to come and meet the community that is on the frontline of Sizewell C & D and that will suffer a cumulative and disproportionate impact during construction. He owes it to the people of east Suffolk to come and hear our concerns face to face and ensure that EDF meets its stated obligations before the next round of consultation.”

The Suffolk Chamber event also saw the launch of the organisation’s six new manifestos, setting out three broad areas in which it would concentrate its lobbying efforts: reducing regulations, improving access to all markets and giving business the tools to do the job.

Each of Suffolk Chamber’s town areas: Bury St Edmunds, Greater Ipswich, Haverhill & District, Lowestoft & Waveney and Newmarket & District plus Suffolk Business Women have agreed upon a programme of campaigns to deliver the three themes at a grassroots level.