Based in Bridgwater, Dan’s Engineering has over 30 years’experience and specialises in the design, welding, fabrication and installation of stainless and mild steel fabrications. In September 2014, managing director Dan Puddy attended a Somerset Chamber event to find out more about the Hinkley Point C project and quickly decided that he wanted to get involved.
“The Hinkley Point C project is a very big opportunity and it’s right here on our doorstep so we wanted to make the most of it,” said Dan.
The Somerset Chamber of Commerce and its Hinkley Supply Chain Team were instrumental in getting Dan’s Engineering involved in the opportunity as well as ensuring that the company is well-placed to bid for work. Dan explains, “The Somerset Chamber provided us with a lot of information about the project, the sort of work that would be coming out of Hinkley Point C and the accreditation requirements. We went to a number of their Hinkley events and they also introduced us to John Ruddleston at MAS who has been helping us complete the Fit For Nuclear programme.”
The Fit For Nuclear programme (F4N) is run by the Nuclear AMRC and has been developed with the support of its top tier partners including Areva and EDF Energy. F4N helps companies measure their current operations against the standards required to supply the UK’s new generation of nuclear power stations, and take the necessary steps to enter this £60billion market.
Dan discovered that he needed to update some of the company’s accreditations to reach the F4N standard. He said, “With the help of a consultant, we have achieved the ISO 9001, 14001 and 18001, all within about three months. This has involved a number of processes, tickets and courses that mean we can now prove that everyone can do the job to a certain standard – and a lot of the accreditations we’ve put in place help and strengthen the business anyway.”
Asked about the next steps, Dan replied, “We need to complete our Fit For Nuclear journey. We’ve had our on-site assessment now and we scored very well, so we are putting together a further action plan, working with John Ruddleston at MAS, to try and gain the last few points that will allow us to show that we are ready to meet the requirements of the nuclear industry. We should have that in place within the next three months, then we’re hoping to have the opportunity to meet some of the Tier 1 and Tier 2 contractors to discuss their requirements.”
Summing up the Hinkley opportunity, Dan said, “Hinkley Point C is a huge opportunity for businesses in Somerset because of the sheer volume of work that is required. Obviously some of it will be outsourced to specialists but it makes sense for them to work with local companies if we have the right qualifications, which gives us a really good chance.
“Getting ready for nuclear work takes time, it will have taken us about six months in total to complete the Fit For Nuclear process, so you need to have a long term plan. It has been quite straightforward though and can help your company achieve much more business in the long term and open more doors.”