FAQs are divded into three sections. Please use the links below to jump to the relevent section
Registering Your Business
Why should I register?
The Hinkley Point C supply chain database is actively utilised to match the requirements of contractors involved on the Hinkley Point C project with suitably skilled Somerset and South West companies. If a company is not registered on the database, their details will not be made available to main contractors.
(Although the main works at Hinkley Point C will be delivered via approximately 150 major contracts to “Tier 1” contractors, each of these major contractors are required to obtain their own suppliers and EDF are taking important steps to encourage major contractors to engage with local suppliers.)
Companies who have registered on the supply chain will receive up-to-date Hinkley Point C news and be invited to relevant project events and workshops, such as Meet the Buyer.
My company is based in the South West but not within the boundaries of Somerset. Am I able to register on the Supply Chain and attend events?
Yes. The Hinkley Supply Chain is the main point of contact for Somerset and South West businesses wishing to engage in the Hinkley Point C nuclear new build.
EDF Energy has also developed a nuclear new build supplier portal for UK based suppliers and for Suffolk / Norfolk suppliers to support the proposals at Sizewell. If you are outside of Somerset and the South West, we recommend that you register on this portal, available at:
We would also be very happy to assist in connecting you with local Somerset and South West suppliers where collaboration between national or international and regional suppliers could lead to a productive supplier “partnership”.
What is the difference between a Hinkley site contractor and a Hinkley indirect Services supplier?
When first completing your registration you will have to make a provisional judgement about whether your business is a Hinkley Indirect Services Supplier or a Hinkley Site Contractor. Once you have registered and if you change your mind on your selection you can log in to your registration and change this assessment at a later date if you want to.
My company already has a history of working with EDF Energy on the Hinkley B site. Do I still need to register on the Supply Chain Portal?
Yes. EDF Energy have pledged that throughout the project they will be engaging with Somerset and South West suppliers registered on the Hinkley Supply Chain, and they will be encouraging all project contractors to do the same.
This means that even if you already do business with EDF, by registering your company on the Hinkley Supply Chain you are opening up your business to a further 150 tier one contractors that you would not have previously.
What happens after I register?
Once you have submitted your registration you will receive an email confirming that your submission has been received. Your company’s registration will be reviewed and you will receive an assessment on your submission as “Not Ready / Almost Ready / Ready” depending on the quality of the information you have submitted If assessed as not ready or almost ready you will be advised as to what additional information is required to move to “Ready” status.
Submissions judged as “Not ready” are registrations that lack information in mandatory fields and / or do not best represent a company in a professional manner.
Submissions judged as “Almost Ready” are registrations that have completed the required fields, but there may be clarification required, for example, on business capability, accreditations or additional information on projects delivered. (Judged in relation to the type of service offered). Submissions judged as “Ready” are registrations that have completed all of the relevant fields correctly, indicating business capabilities, accreditations and project experience and on a whole deliver a professional message of business
I have registered, but now I can’t log onto my registration. What can I do now?
In order to log onto your registration you must fill out the required fields with your user name and password, which you would have received when you first registered.
If you have forgotten your password and deleted the e-mail you received when you first registered, which contains your log in details, you can select “Forgotten password”. At this point you will have to submit your company name, as spelt when you registered, which will allow you to create a new password. If you are unable to complete the process to create a new password please contact a member of the Hinkley Supply Team at the Somerset Chamber of Commerce.
Tips on Keywords
In your registration you are requested to provide as many single keywords to describe your company’ key or core activities. These supplement the capability descriptions and are stored to help identify suppliers to EDF Energy and authorised contractors when they are searching for suppliers for the variety of capabilities. The keywords we suggest you choose to use are ones that a) describe the core capabilities your business offers; b) describe specialist skills not obvious from your chosen capability categories and c) are the likely words that contractors may think of when searching for suppliers.
Keywords need to be separated by a comma and you can choose as many keywords as necessary that describe your core activities. Only use keywords that describe what you can deliver effectively and for which you have evidence or experience. Some examples below:
A small Hotel might use the following keywords: hotel, accommodation, bed & breakfast, meeting rooms, conference, restaurant, eating out, wi-fi.
An engineering business might use the following keywords: Civil Engineering, Design Engineers, trenchless pipelines, electricity ducts, cable installation, Pipe jacking, Tunnelling, Guided Auger Boring, Horizontal Directional Drilling, tunnel renovation.
The capability and sub capabilities you may choose go some way to describing your services – but the keywords give you the opportunity to get specific if required. If no keywords are included in your submission then your business won’t show up on any keyword search – so at the very least include the main capabilities in this section.
I registered a while ago but have not heard anything about my registration or acquired any work on the Hinkley Point C project.
If you have not received a notification of the status of your registration as Ready, Nearly Ready or Not Ready after 5 working days following registration, please e-mail the Hinkley Point C team at the Somerset Chamber of Commerce on firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the office on 01823 444924. It maybe that your e-mail notification has been added to your junk folder.
Once your registration is marked as Ready, you will from time to time, and when relevant to, receive updated news and invitations to events. If you have not received communication recently it may be that your e-mail address is incorrect or out of date on your registration, hence please check that all contact details are correct. If your contact details are correct but have not received recent correspondence, please contact the team.
The Hinkley Point C project has been running since 2010 and the nuclear power station once construction begins will be a ten year project. Throughout the development of the project, many different phases of construction will take place over the time scale of the project.
So do not be discouraged if you have not had any recent feedback from your registration as it may be a case of waiting for company’s capability to be required on the project.
In the mean time we emphasize the need for companies to commit to the project by being as proactive as possible. This can be achieved by keeping up to date with contracts awarded on the project and actively networking with those involved at Hinkley events and workshops.
What support is available to all suppliers to get to the “ready” status?
The “Ready” status for your business is achieved by completing you registration in full and accurately by submitting relevant information about your business on the supply chain portal. This status is a declaration of full and accurate information – not a pre-qualification report on your capabilities and quality management systems.
In addition to achieving the desirable “Ready” status it will also be important for you to understand the level of quality, safety standards and systems that will be required for the type of service or product you offer. There will be advice and information presented during the schedule of workshops and events that are organised, by the Somerset Chamber working with a variety of partners to help businesses address the opportunities and challenges that the Hinkley development presents.
Also see our Business Support Section (link)
Must I address my questions through the Hinkley Supply Chain Team, or can I speak directly to EDF Energy; if so who are the main contacts?
EDF Energy has requested that The Somerset Chamber of Commerce aids with coordinating and driving the local supplier engagement in partnership with other agencies. The www.hinkleysupplychain.co.uk web site is managed by the chamber on behalf of EDF Energy and will develop into a major source of information for local suppliers including information about the project timetable, the contracts being offered for enquiry, the events and support available and a range of other information.
The Somerset Hinkley Point C supply chain team, set up by the chamber, will be able to help on most queries and can be contacted on 01823 444924. However, you do not always have to ask questions through the Somerset Chamber of Commerce. The local Supply Chain Engagement manager for EDF Energy is Jamie Driver and he can be contacted on 01278 444600 and at email@example.com.
Contracts tendering and support offered to businesses
What else are EDF Energy and its main contractors doing to find out about the skills and capabilities of Somerset businesses?
EDF have tasked the Somerset Chamber of Commerce with mapping Somerset and South West supplier capabilities against the work package requirements for the project. These requirements are represented in two supply chain maps, one for construction and another services. This mapped capability information is used to find suppliers with relevant capability with Tier 1 and 2 contractors and EDF procurement teams given access to search online and the Hinkley Supply Chain Team sourcing suppliers on request to facilitate opportunities for Somerset businesses.. This supply chain map is completed and updated based upon information given within your registration, hence it is paramount that companies registered on the Hinkley Supply Chain keep all submitted information up to date.
How can I find out what I need to do to increase my chances of being invited to tender?
We suggest you consider the following:
Register your company on the Hinkley Point C Somerset supplier database with accurate and full data. State your strengths and don’t overstate capabilities. Continue to show activity on the project by reviewing your registration at least every six months and keeping all the information up to date.
Make clear your prime capability and make sure you illustrate with some evidence of customers serviced / projects delivered.
Attend the events and workshops set up to provide information to companies about the safety and quality standards required for your prime capability. Invitations to events will be sent out via e-mail.
EDF Energy have made it clear that they will require ISO accreditations or equivalent quality and safety standards to be met by businesses seeking contracts to work on the site. If these are not in place and are likely to be necessary then take steps to find out what is involved, what the benefit might be to your business in the nuclear new build and other markets and then make an assessment as to the potential return on investment. There is a range of business support available – contact South West Growth Hub, SWMAS, Bridgwater College or recommended private providers. Contact numbers and website are available on Business Support Pages
Carry out your normal business development / marketing / sales activities to find out which contractors might need your services and when they might need it. The Hinkley Point C supplier database should be viewed as a tool to help you get in front of the right people at the right time – but not as your only tool.
This is a huge project and I’m a small business. What is the scale of work that is likely to be contracted out to small to medium size Somerset companies, and how can I obtain work on a project that involves contract values greater than what my company can normally provide?
The range and size of opportunities is considerable across a wide spectrum of business activity and businesses of all sizes are encouraged to register.
One way in which small and medium size companies can obtain work on a large work package is by collaborating with other local companies.
As the Hinkley project ramps up, The Somerset Chamber of Commerce expect to run a series of work package workshops with main contractors where specific requirements and collaboration opportunities will be raised. In addition groups of local Somerset suppliers may wish to work together for which we can offer some support.
Invitations to such events, and all other events held by The Somerset Chamber of Commerce, are set out via e-mail, so please make sure that e-mails from us or EDF are not sent to your junk folder, or you may miss out. It is equally important to make sure that the main e-mail on your registration is the person who will be most active on the project.
Keep a regular eye on the web site www.hinkleysupplychain.co.uk and make sure you register your interest and capability. This is the step in the process to give your business a chance of getting in front of the right people at the right time. Also continue to take action on the usual business development activities. This web site and the supply chain portal needs to be just one of the tools you use to win business.
I have heard there is a meet the buyer event, how can I make sure I can attend?
The meet the buyer events are organised to maximise value for Somerset businesses and for the main contractors looking for suppliers. The meet the buyer events will no doubt evolve but will start based on the successful formula developed by Somerset Chamber.
1, EDF Energy request a selection of main contractors to host a meet the buyer event – a selection based on the current work packages in line with the proposed project timetable.
- The Hinkley Supply Chain Team liaises with main contractors to invite Somerset businesses, registered on the Hinkley Supply chain, whose capabilities match the requirements of the main contractor. These companies are then prompted to register their interest to meet the main contractors.
- The names of the companies who have indicated their interest to meet the main contractor are release to the contractor, where they have the final say in who is selected to attend the meet the buyer event.
We expect there to be a rolling program of meet the buyer events during the proposed construction timetable.
How can I find out what contracts are coming up that I can bid for?
Many of the contracts that Somerset businesses will be able to bid for will be contracts put out to tender by the 150 main Tier 1 companies, who themselves have been awarded contracts by EDF Energy. As the project progresses the summary details of contracts and who they have been awarded to will be available on this website with links to the EDF website for detailed information.
In addition, EDF Energy are also issuing contracts directly to suppliers, some of which have already been awarded to Somerset and South West businesses.
The Hinkley Supply Chain Team is pro-actively working with Tier 1 and 2 contractors as they start to mobilise their contracts to uncover the elements of their work packages that represent opportunities for South West suppliers. We will profile suppliers registered with us that can supply the relevant capability and encourage the Tier 1 to issue enquiries. They will do this to the contacts you have supplied to us – please keep this up to date.