Companies seek nuclear contracts as Sizewell C waits for go-ahead

Steve Carroll, senior supply chain lead at Sizewell C Picture: ALICE BELLEFONTAINE/EDF

Steve Carroll, senior supply chain lead at Sizewell C Picture: ALICE BELLEFONTAINE/EDF - Credit: Archant

More than 50 representatives of companies across Suffolk, Norfolk and the wider region were given a chance to show how they could be a part of the Sizewell C project at an online event for would-be suppliers.

Firms demonstrated their capability to play an active role in the construction of the new nuclear plant planned for Leiston at a virtual “Meet the Buyer” event organised by Suffolk Chamber of Commerce.

They met with key members of the Sizewell C Civil Works Alliance, which will be responsible for building Sizewell C Power Station.

Companies interested in early enabling developments heard from Steve Carroll, senior supply chain lead at Sizewell C and Ian Watkins, delivery director for the Civil Works Alliance.

MORE – Nuclear plant will aim to feed workforce on local produceMr Carroll updated attendees on the progress of the project, including changes to the planning application to cut the number of heavy trucks on the roads, while Mr Watkins addressed the scope of the civil works programme and said the event was just the start of engagement with the local supply chain.

Guests were then able to speak directly to members of the Alliance in private breakout rooms.

Gareth Davies, head of Sizewell C Supply chain engagement at Suffolk Chamber, said the event was an opportunity to bring interested parties together and start to build a meaningful supply chain involving companies local to the development site.

“While we await government approval for the project, it is important that these discussions take place now to ensure the local and regional supply chain is aligned and ready,” he said.

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Attendees were brought up to date on the project, including expected timelines, and given them their first one-to-one engagement with members of the Civil Works Alliance to gain more of an understanding of the work packages that will become available during the building of the power station.

Suffolk Chamber has been working with French energy company EDF – which is spearheading the project – for several years to ensure local companies play an active part in the building of the new twin-reactor power plant.

Steve Dighton, group business development manager of Ipswich-based Breheny Civil Engineering, was among the delegates.

“Being able to be a part of the Sizewell C construction project is the perfect opportunity to contribute to the growth and development of both Suffolk and the UK, while providing work and training for our local staff and supply chain,” he said.

Lee Merces, managing director of Highway Workforce at Little Blakenham, said the event had given more clarity about how businesses could become a part of the project.

“As a Suffolk-based business, today’s meet the buyer event has given us a very valuable insight into the long-term delivery programme for Sizewell C,” he said. “We now have a clear vision of how we can actively work with the delivery teams and contribute to building the essential infrastructure which will ultimately benefit our local communities and the wider Suffolk economy.”