12 July 2010 | Lindsay Clark
EDF Energy has created an online procurement portal to develop relationships with local firms that could become suppliers to the nuclear power station it is set to build at Hinkley Point in Somerset in the UK.
The website, which was launched on Friday, enables local companies to register with the French firm and find out about the opportunities that may be available as part of the multi-billion pound nuclear build programme.
A spokesman for EDF Energy said: “It is part of the process of going out to local businesses and working with the local chamber of commerce so they can understand the opportunity and we know more about what is out there. It is the beginning of a long process.”
EDF Energy plans to build four nuclear reactors in the UK by 2025 in a multi-billion pound investment programme. Supplier programmes have also taken place at another of EDF Energy’s sites, Sizewell in Suffolk, which hosted a procurement event on Thursday 8 July.
The event was designed to provide information about the EDF Energy procurement process and give potential suppliers more details about its business structures and the work packages that will be available for bids.
Alan Cumming, EDF Energy’s head of procurement, said: “It has been 20 years since a new nuclear plant was built in this country. Our project creates an opportunity to reinvigorate the expertise and capability in the UK.
“This is a long-term project and the opportunities are likely to be equally long-term for those companies who take advantage of them.”
The procurement for EDF Energy’s UK build programme is already under way and is expected to lead to the tendering of about 150 contracts worth many billions of pounds.
As reported by SM, efforts to develop a nuclear supply chain in the UK were set back last month when the government withdrew a loan of £80 million to Sheffield Forgemasters, which had been promised the funding by the Labour government to help it develop technologies for nuclear reactors.