Based in Bridgend, Vessco Engineering are a Tier 2 supplier that has won the contract to manufacture two large pressure vessels for Tier 1 contractor GE Power Systems, who are supplying the two turbine islands for Hinkley Point C power generation.
Due to their size, these pressure vessels are thought to be the largest that have been made in the area for many decades. When asked what the contract win means to Vessco, Managing Director Julian Vance-Daniel said: “It means stability for 4 to 5 years as an absolute minimum. We also expect it to be the platform for our future growth in the nuclear industry and it will help us to grow in other industries as well.” He expects their customers in the oil and gas industry will notice their achievements and he feels it will place the company in a good position for many years to come.
“The rewards for Vessco are potentially huge, running into many, many millions of pounds. We will double or treble in size as a result of our work in the nuclear business. The HPC project is vast – £20 billion worth and whilst the spend to date is considerable, they still have 3/4 left to spend,” continued Mr. Vance-Daniel.
He stated that there are lots of opportunities for SME’S throughout the region but he stressed the need for businesses to understand the culture of the nuclear industry and to take professional advice. “There are many organisations out there who will help. We have had help from Fit For Nuclear, the Welsh Government and also from the HPC Supply Chain Team,” he explained.
Approximately 8 years ago when the UK was looking at the need for nuclear generation, Vessco identified the requirement for pressure vessels and pressure equipment in the nuclear industry and the company decided to look for new business opportunities in that sector.
“We were a very small business and the companies we were approaching at the time were amongst some of the biggest companies in the world. Because we had considered the market early on; we were able to slowly get things ready for entry into the nuclear market. EDF, the Hinkley Supply Chain team and GE were very well advanced in their preparations,” explained Mr Vance-Daniel.
Vessco also involved with The Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (NAMRC) in Sheffield and the Hinkley Supply Chain Team. “We listened to what they had to say and we made the improvements they suggested,” said Mr Vance-Daniel.
Nick Golding, Programme Lead, Hinkley Supply Chain Programme said: “They’ve put in the hard work and look at what their rewards are. It’s a long-term contract which is giving them stability for over 5 years. Winning this contact puts them in a great position to capitalise not just on the HPC project but also other nuclear projects across the UK. All companies should be looking at Vessco and should try to follow their example.”