EDF Energy Somerset Chamber of Commerce SWMAS Business West
  1. Somerset Cyber Group – “We can help suppliers add value to their work”

    June 18, 2019

    A new Somerset consortium has joined forces to give supply chain members working on the Hinkley Point C (HPC) project the best possible IT security advice and Government-recognised IT security accreditation.

    The Somerset Cyber Group was formed last year by three local companies – Yeovil-based CETSAT and Blueloop and Bridgwater-based PC Comms. Between them they have decades of experience working with Government, defence and leading crime fighting agencies. Although all companies involved with the construction of Hinkley Point C must undergo formal security assurance for their systems, the Somerset Cyber Group is helping them to improve beyond best practice.

    All three members of the group are qualified to provide the Government-approved Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus certifications and are also able to offer a wide range of other IT and cyber security products and services for Hinkley Supply Chain members.

    The Somerset Cyber Group was set up to ensure all companies involved in the Hinkley Point C new nuclear build meet a simple but effective set of standards in good IT practice and cyber security. Their procedures must also illustrate good security practice within the supply chain so they don’t present a risk to fellow suppliers or their clients.

    Durgan Cooper, Chairman of the Somerset Cyber Group, said: “We have been working with Somerset Larder for a number of years, helping them to ready themselves for their cyber security needs.

    “Scaling-up and coming together as a consortium allows us to deliver best practice and commonality to a much wider range of organisations in the supply chain. We want to be working with Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 members on their IT security.

    “We can help suppliers add value to their work – 90 per cent of all cyber compromises of businesses are usually due to user interactions; we are here to train people well and to help prevent them from falling foul of criminals.”

    Somerset Larder, a consortium of local food suppliers, has provided all the catering needs at Hinkley Point C since 2014 and wanted to partner with other local companies with expertise outside of their own remit to ensure they could fulfil all aspects of their contract.

    Stephen Stapenhill-Hunt, Somerset Larder Manager, said an IT tie-up was vital as the company’s portfolio of responsibility grew to include the operation of Somerset Larder’s own IT network and systems. And those systems had to be highly regulated and tightly controlled.

    Mr Stapenhill-Hunt said: “CETSAT, which is now part of Somerset Cyber Group, has been instrumental in ensuring that we comply with all legal and project requirements, additionally, they have provided that essential support, advice, resource and expertise that has allowed us to focus on our core purpose.

    “For Somerset Larder this has been a journey with a companion, importantly, a journey travelled with an expert guide.”

    Mr Cooper said he hoped Somerset Cyber Group would be able to engage with a wide range of supply chain members on both a national and regional level and would also offer training workshops and services as well IT health checks and cyber security certifications.

    HPC’s Project Security Compliance Manager, Chris Whyborn said: “All companies involved in construction and construction support at HPC are expected to undergo a level of Security Assurance for Information and Operational Technology systems. HPC contractors often use external service providers to assess or improve their own cyber security posture over and above the Project’s core requirements.”

    The Somerset Cyber Group is already working with many organisations of differing sizes and in a wide range of industries as other large projects and associated supply chains recognise the need to ensure good IT practice and procedures, all with a recognised certification.

    The Government-backed Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus certifications show that companies take their IT security needs seriously and have installed systems to protect their customers’ data online.

    This includes the use of boundary firewalls and internet gateways, secure configuration, access control, malware protection and patch management.

    Cyber Essentials Plus goes one step further and includes a more in-depth technical review of workstations to give clients an even greater security assurance.

    Once an organisation has been assessed against the Cyber Essentials or Cyber Essentials Plus security criteria and passes, they receive the relevant Cyber Essentials award, which demonstrates they have achieved a fundamental level of cyber security.

    Mr Cooper added: “We don’t want to be scaremongering, but every organisation is at risk and they need good IT cyber security. It’s like having insurance – we all have it but very few of us actually make a claim on it of things go wrong.

    “Everyone is aware of cyber security and IT is now embedded in most organisations but there are multiple things people need to do to protect themselves and good cyber security is just a starting point, it’s not the destination.”

    The Somerset Cyber Group already works with Avon and Somerset Police’s South West Regional Cyber Crime Unit and the group prides itself on using ‘agile technology’ to quickly adapt to new cyber threats and the needs of businesses.

  2. GTE – “We’re very proud to be working on HPC”

    June 18, 2019

    Global Tunnelling Experts (GTE) are world leaders in their field, currently working in 48 different countries on more than 120 diverse projects, making them the perfect partner for the Hinkley Point C project.

    Four teams from GTE will be operating the three massive tunnel boring machines for Balfour Beatty who are constructing the two intake tunnels and one outfall tunnel at site. The tunnels will stretch 3.5km and 1.8km, respectively, out in to the Bristol Channel, carrying cooling water to and from the new nuclear power station.

    Some 38,000 concrete segments will form concrete rings for the inside of the tunnels once earth has been excavated by GTE’s skilled teams.

    GTE is no stranger to complex projects, though, and has a world-renowned reputation for excellence, with more than 6,000 skilled workers delivering huge infrastructure projects throughout the world.

    GTE’s UK headquarters is in Portishead, making them a local business even though the nature of their work takes them all over the world.

    The company’s management team worked hard, as always, to secure the contract at Hinkley Point C, attending networking events, liaising with the Hinkley Supply Chain Team and meeting key people to ensure they were a crucial part of the UK’s first new nuclear power station for a generation.

    In fact, GTE’s teams can be found working on a diverse range of vitally-important infrastructure projects all over the world – although they’re particularly proud to be working at HPC.

    The parts for the tunnel boring machines were shipped to the South West from Germany and will be assembled on-site aided by cranes. They operate by using a large rotating cutting wheel at the front to break away materials from the tunnel face. The loosened earth is then transferred to a conveyor belt system inside the machine.

    In all, the machines will excavate 1.2 million tonnes of soil – enough to fill almost 1,500 international squash courts. The largest of the machines weighs in at around 1,200 tonnes, or the equivalent of 1,000 family saloon cars and is the length of around nine passenger coaches placed end-to-end.

    All the soil removed from the tunnels is being kept on site and landscaped. At points, the tunnels will be big enough to drive a Mini car through and will supply 120,000 litres of water per second to the power station.

    But despite having vast experience working on complex infrastructure projects, the GTE team has had to adapt even further to comply with all aspects of the new nuclear programme.

    GTE always puts safety first but working on a nuclear safety -focused site has added another dimension, with all staff working at Hinkley Point C undergoing additional training and preparation.

    But GTE has taken it all in its stride, as all staff are agile and professional, able to adapt to the requirements of each job and with the skills and expertise to match. GTE also ensures all workers are PAYE giving workers additional peace of mind and job security.

    Currently, there are around 120 GTE staff at site and local recruitment has played an important part in ensuring they are ready for the challenges that lay ahead.

    Kevin Browning, GTE director, said: “We’re only as good as the people we employ and we always use the one team approach. We see GTE as a family unit, our employees are joining the family and that is paramount to our success.

    “It gives us continuity and means we are completely invested in making all our projects a success. Our focus is always on local recruitment and local investment and we’re looking forward to working on HPC.”

    More information about GTE is available online at http://www.global-tunnelling-experts.com/.

  3. JoBird & Co – Looking to the future with the Hinkley Supply Chain Team

    April 30, 2019

    Somerset-based manufacturer of custom-made cabinets, JoBird & Co Ltd, is looking to the future by getting Hinkley-ready with the support of the Hinkley Supply Chain Team.

    The company is located in Highbridge, less than 20 miles by road from the Hinkley Point C (HPC) new nuclear power station. It produces durable and reliable cabinets largely constructed of composite materials using approved gelcoats, glass matting, and resins to protect contents from the elements.

    Most have Lloyds and ABS approvals with an excellent IP rating of 56 and can be insulated or vented for use in extreme temperatures.

    With many successful designs accredited to them and an international client base, supplying fire safety related equipment worldwide, JoBird bosses felt they were well-placed to support the requirements of a large construction project like HPC, so began looking at ways to be ready when supply opportunities arose.

    Initially, JoBird attended a Hinkley Supply Chain Team funded workshop, which was designed to help companies understand the specific demands of working on the HPC project.

    The supply chain team then organised an on-site meeting to offer JoBird more targeted advice and recommendations tailored to the individual needs of the company.

    Around this time Jo Bird secured early orders to support the HPC project and, as a result, decided to focus on ensuring the company was equipped for future HPC opportunities, in particular, by learning about supplying the nuclear industry.

    The company already has extensive experience in the oil and offshore wind sectors.

    Jo Bird recently designed and supplied fire-fighting lockers to A&P Falmouth for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, replacing those supplied by the ship builder which were deemed not fit for purpose.

    The custom-made cabinets, designed in close collaboration with A&P engineers, have A&S roller shutter doors to save valuable space on board and stainless-steel lockable draw systems inside. A&P were so impressed with the finished product, NATO codes have now been created for the design to ensure they can be supplied to future MOD vessels.

    Photo kindly supplied by A&P Falmouth

    Nick Atkins, Marketing Manager, JoBird & Co Ltd, said: “The Hinkley Supply Chain Team HPC Supplier Induction covered different key nuclear factors, from the safety culture adopted by the nuclear industry to important considerations for suppliers entering into HPC specific nuclear contracts.

    “I feel so much more informed about the factors of nuclear excellence important to EDF Energy and potential HPC customers after this training, which will help me when preparing future bids.”



  4. Electrifying success for DS Electrical at HPC

    April 15, 2019

    Darren Sparrey, founder and managing director of Bideford-based DS Electrical, doesn’t mince his words when describing the importance of winning contracts at Hinkley Point to his business: “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity!”

    DS Electrical was founded in 1994 to provide electrical services within the Industrial, Domestic and Commercial areas. Their commitment to quality, service and continual development has made DS Electrical one of the South West’s leading electrical specialists with regular clients including Tesco, Lidl and a number of other large retailers.

    Employing over 60 staff throughout the South West, Darren said: “We form long-term relationships with our customers, suppliers and employees.  We strive to build and maintain customer satisfaction through a superior quality of service based on respect and trust”.

    The NICEIC-approved electrical contractor offers solutions within all aspects of electrical contracting and is currently carrying out a contract to replace all the existing lighting to LED within various Tesco stores throughout the country.

    Darren first registered DS Electrical onto the Hinkley Supply Chain portal 18 months ago.  His first opportunity came when he was approached by TCi (GB) Ltd (itself a Tier 1 contractor at HPC specialising in workspace and commercial environment fit out and refurbishment specialists) to tender for the electrical installation of the new Central Production Kitchen that supports the main construction site’s huge catering operation. The company was successful with its bid and was delighted to complete the project successfully alongside TCi (GB) Ltd.

    “It was exciting to see what was going on at Hinkley and to keep believing that we could be part of what’s happening there,” he said.

    “We started reading everything we could to find out more about the project, including the Hinkley Supply Chain newsletters and attending as many workshops as possible, which gave us the opportunity to meet various other contractors who shared their knowledge with us – all of this helped us to understand what was required to actually become a supplier.”

    He added: “The more I found out, the more I wanted to know, and I knew this wasn’t just a good opportunity for the business. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity which rarely comes around in the South West.”

    As with most success stories at HPC, the contracts did not come immediately. Darren had to ensure his team were put through stringent health and safety training to prove their readiness to meet the higher than normal standards demanded by the project.

    “It was a steep learning curve,” he explained, “We invested a lot of time and money into getting ourselves ready for HPC and, in fact, it was a valuable and rewarding exercise as we’ve driven up our own standards right across the business and we now take that experience of best practice into our work with all our other clients.”

    DS Electrical personnel has undergone HPC Approved Person and subsequent HPC Permit training and has worked on several high-profile electrical projects connected to HPC, including the fit-out of the bars in the Workers Accommodation Campus facilities on site and in Bridgwater and the fit-out of the vehicle maintenance warehouse at Junction 24, once again under TCi (GB) Ltd as the appointed Principle Contractor.

    “We’ve worked on some large projects previously within Bridgwater, including the electrical installation to the Morrisons chilled distribution depot, but we are hoping the HPC work will put us in a whole new league.

    “It’s making a big difference to us, not just financially, but also in terms of how we define ourselves as a business and present our services to the world. For example, we’re launching a new, more professional-looking website so that potential customers can easily identify the capabilities of our team, which we probably wouldn’t have done before.”

    When asked what advice he would offer to other business owners thinking of trying to win contracts at Hinkley Point C, Darren had this to offer: “Don’t let the scale and complexity of contracts at Hinkley Point C put you off from engaging with the Project. To be honest, I haven’t it found any more or less problematic than any of our other client work.

    “The rewards are there for sure, but don’t think for a minute that it’s just going to come flowing to you because it won’t!

    “As a business we have invested a lot into this, such as putting the majority of our engineers through the HPC training and health and safety courses, but it was absolutely the right thing to do.”

    He added: “Having been self-employed for 25 years now I’ve had plenty of ups and downs, at times it’s felt like battle after battle, but now we’re finally reaping the rewards of all that hard work.”



  5. Ainscough: “We’re extremely proud to be part of what’s happening here in Somerset”

    April 15, 2019

    There are hundreds of businesses of all sizes currently working at Hinkley Point C (HPC), though few can be as integral to daily site operations as Ainscough.

    The UK’s largest crane company, Ainscough has gone to great lengths to embed itself into the South West’s business and educational communities and currently works with over 60 contractors on site.

    With 30 depot locations across the UK from Scotland down to Devon, Ainscough is highly experienced in working on complex infrastructure projects and has brought that expertise to Somerset where it has over 50 people involved with the new nuclear build project at HPC.

    “We’re not only committed to the HPC programme, we are heavily invested in the local community too,” said Adam Hodgkins, commercial manager for Ainscough at HPC.

    “As a business this is the largest infrastructure project we’re working on and, as we’re potentially going to be here for many years to come, it’s the right thing to do to integrate into the local community both on and off site.”

    A family-run company until 2007, today Ainscough operates over 400 cranes and employs 900 people working on projects all over the UK including the A14 bypass through Cambridge, Energy for Waste Sites and Petrochemical sites.

    At HPC, Ainscough, is working with many of the Tier 1 suppliers such as Kier BAM, Bylor and Balfour Beatty.

    “We have more than 50 working on the project, including crane operators, maintenance workers, supervisors and engineers, as well as an office in the Somerset Energy Innovation Centre,” continued Adam.

    “Clearly we’re a national company, however we are very committed to the South West and now have a strong stake in ensuring this project is a success.”

    Ainscough first came onto site four years ago having liaised initially with the HPC Supply Chain Team, attending its many networking meetings and other events, before building links and relationships with the Tier 1 contractors.

    Adam said: “To date we have had 16 different types of crane on site, from 40 tonne to 750 tonne machines, working right across HPC as the project progresses from the civil works to the mechanical and engineering phase.

    “It’s been a long process to get to this stage which has taken careful relationship-building to achieve, but ultimately it’s been incredibly rewarding and we are extremely proud to be part of what’s happening here in Somerset.”

    As you would expect from any company involved with a nuclear new build project, Ainscough takes health and safety extremely seriously – a corporate value entirely in line with the culture at HPC. The company is also embracing new technology and integrating that into its work at HPC, specifically with the introduction of an app – My Ainscough – which includes features designed to help workers make safe choices when working on site.

    Ainscough’s commitment to the local community and the company has linked with Bridgwater College’s Cannington Campus where it has supported various events and works with the college to offer its slingers and banksmen courses.

    “We see this as all about building our legacy in the South West,” said Adam. “We’re making an investment in the future so that as our workforce ages we have the next generation of crane operators, engineers and managers ready to come through and continue our work.”







    • HPC News Update – June 2019

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    • HPC News Update – May 2019

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    • HPC Suppliers – Support Grant

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