13 Sep 10

EDF Energy sets out multi-billion pound business opportunities from new nuclear project at UK supply chain event

Secretary of State Vince Cable MP and Energy Minister Charles Hendry MP hail boost for British jobs

Company announces £50 million pounds of contracts already awarded to groups including British businesses

September 2010

- EDF Energy today held its second national supply chain event for UK contractors bidding for billions of pounds worth of work on its nuclear new build programme.

The "New Nuclear Opportunities" forum highlighted the role that British businesses will have in delivering the company’s plans to invest in new nuclear power stations in the UK.

EDF Energy proposes to build four new nuclear EPRs, with partner Centrica, subject to the right investment framework being in place.

EDF Energy today announced the project has let over 130 contracts to British companies or consortia involving British companies to date, with a total value exceeding £50m. The announcement demonstrates how such major investment plans are already generating considerable commercial opportunities for the UK supply chain.

The programme is expected to lead to about 150 further, major contracts worth many billions of pounds, and UK business is expected to play a considerable role.

Contracts announced today include site preparation for Hinkley Point, awarded to Kier BAM. The work will include perimeter fence erection and providing site access improvements and utility connections.

The London event was attended by 650 people from around 400 companies.

Speeches from Charles Hendry Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change and Secretary of State Vince Cable MP provided the Government’s perspective on the important role the project is playing in filling the energy gap and boosting the UK economy.

Mr Hendry said: "The multi-billion pound opportunities these projects provide for UK industry and jobs are huge. I am very encouraged by the drive of companies such as EDF Energy and by the enthusiasm of companies, local and national to get involved. These projects can help revitalise entire sectors of the British economy and create a UK industry with the skills to export and compete around the world.

"Events such as this today demonstrate the drive to meet our climate change targets and provide the secure, low carbon energy our country needs."

EDF Energy Chief Executive Vincent de Rivaz said:

"Our project has already created more than £50 million of opportunities which British businesses are already benefitting from. That is just the start. Today we will unveil details of billions of pounds of opportunities which will create thousands of jobs in British industry.

"I am delighted that we are delivering this boost to industry and facilitating skilled jobs right when the country needs them.

"We believe that UK businesses have a significant role to play. To do so it is important companies prepare now, to ensure they have the right skills, accreditations and quality standards to work on a nuclear site. Today we will explain what is needed and how they can take part.

"We are moving ahead with our plans. Our commitment is demonstrated by developments such as local consultation at Hinkley Point and by our engagement with our supply chain.

"Alongside this increased commitment we are making, we need to see increased commitment from Government.

"Now, more than ever, it is time to progress on all the steps set out in the Coalition Agreement. The months ahead are critical and will have an impact on the future of the country for decades to come.

"In particular we need to see publication of revised Energy National Policy Statement documents, together with a clear parliamentary timetable for their ratification.

"We also need the consultation on carbon price floor and electricity market reform, and for these to lead to legislation next year."

Suppliers have been given information about the EDF Energy procurement process and the work packages which will be available for bids.

Tom Tagg, JV Director for Kier BAM said:

"The Kier BAM Joint Venture is pleased to have been awarded the first construction contract for the site preparation works at EDF’s Hinkley Point C new nuclear power station. The Kier BAM JV will bring its local and nuclear pedigree and skills to the project to support EDF in its plans to build the first new nuclear power station in the UK for over 20 years.

"This project not only represents the first steps towards closure of the impending UK energy gap, but it also provides a vital boost to the construction industry during this time of austerity. Projects such as this create opportunities and jobs just when British industry needs them."

Donald Lawson, Faithful+Gould's UK Chief Operating Officer said:

''To be awarded this strategic consultancy work from EDF Energy on its Nuclear New Build project is great news and I am delighted that we will be working seamlessly with them to ensure that the procurement delivers the best engineering solutions, a robust timetable and a project that will set a benchmark for the industry."

As well today’s national supply chain event, EDF Energy is maintaining an ongoing regional business engagement programme including supplier events in Somerset and Suffolk to set out the local opportunities for businesses. EDF Energy’s plans for Hinkley point are expected to pump £100 million a year into the Somerset economy during construction and £40 million per year during operation.

Mr de Rivaz added:

"EDF has shown a consistent and growing commitment to the UK through the major investments it has made over the past 12 years. As a result, EDF Energy is the leading UK energy company in electricity supply and generation. We are the UK’s biggest generator of electricity – and more importantly of low carbon electricity. We are the biggest supplier of electricity by volume, supplying about one quarter of the electricity used by British industry. In addition our electricity and gas supply business has more than 5 million residential customer accounts.

"Following the sale of networks, we will build on our industry leading positions in generation and supply, with customers at the heart of our business.

"We are committed to generating and supplying affordable low-carbon energy to British homes and businesses."