EDF Energy Somerset Chamber of Commerce SWMAS Business West
  1. HPC Suppliers – Support Grant

    May 8, 2019

    Sedgemoor-based small or medium-sized business (SME) who work as part of the Hinkley Supply Chain or are registered to be considered for work at HPC could be eligible for a grant of up to £5,000.

    The grant scheme is designed to help SMEs meet or better fulfil the requirements of working as part of the Hinkley Supply Chain.

    To be eligible, businesses need to demonstrate they have a realistic chance of gaining a contract or have a contract already at Hinkley Point C. Grants could be used for things such as recruitment, new facilities, equipment or processes, research and development, accreditation and training.

    Other uses for the grant will be considered but only one application can be made per business will be accepted. Grants cannot be used to pay any staff members salary.

    To qualify, SMEs must:

    • Be an independent business and be registered in Sedgemoor
    • Employ fewer than 200 people
    • Have been operating for more than one year
    • Provide three quotes for purchases, unless purchasing a specialist product or service
    • Provide a full year’s accounts
    • Be registered on the Hinkley Supply Chain
    • Sedgemoor District Council is encouraging SMEs

    Interested business should complete a grant application form which will be assessed by a panel from Sedgemoor District Council. More information and the grant application form can be found online at: https://www.sedgemoor.gov.uk/article/2271/Suppliers-Support-Grant.


  2. Huge opportunities remain for regional businesses to get involved with the Hinkley Point C project.

    April 5, 2019

    Huge opportunities remain for regional businesses to get involved with the Hinkley Point C project, business leaders from across the area were told this week.

    Sam Evans, Head of Hinkley Supply Chain Engagement on behalf of the Somerset Chamber of Commerce’s Hinkley Supply Team, said there were still substantial contracts to be awarded for both tier two and tier three suppliers.

    She said there was a perception it was too late to win work at the nuclear power station development and said that view was wrong and urged prospective suppliers to register on the dedicated Hinkley Supply Chain portal.

    “We were very Somerset-centric in the early days but that scope has now widened and we would encourage suppliers who would like to get involved from across the South West and South Wales to register on the portal.

    “It’s a ten-year build, so we’ve hardly scratched the surface as far as the supply chain opportunities are concerned,” Sam said.

    She was speaking at the Insider South West Hinkley Point C Breakfast event which was held in the MacMillan Theatre, in Bridgwater, on Tuesday, 26 March.

    Other key speakers and panel members included Jamie Driver, the Hinkley Point C Senior Supply Chain Engagement Manager, Doug Bamsey, Strategic Director at Sedgemoor District Council and local businesses who are already working on the HPC project – Greg van Laun of Astron Fire and Security, Mike Morgan, of MMES and John Chaplin of The Bristol Port Company.

    Mr Driver said Hinkley Point C would put £4 billion into the regional economy over the lifetime of the project and added: “The word out there at the moment seems to be that all of the contracts have gone – that’s very wrong.

    “There are a wealth of opportunities still to be accessed and we need to look two to three years ahead; there are some contracts we haven’t even started procuring for yet.”

    Mr van Laun said networking events about Hinkley Point C and working with the Hinkley Supply Chain Team had been invaluable to ensure his company was best placed to win work on the project.

    “We were able to meet the decision-makers directly and Sam played a big part in that,” he said.

    Mr Morgan told the event: “I also attended a seminar about Hinkley Point C and then made contact with the Somerset Chamber of Commerce and Sedgemoor Development Team and received an enormous amount of support from them. This is a great opportunity.”

    Mr van Laun added: “It can be intimidating but it’s all about engaging with the right people to help you.”

    For more information about registering with the Hinkley Supply Chain contact the team on 01823 443425.

  3. Hinkley Point C spending in the South West reaches £1bn with 6,500 jobs created so far

    April 4, 2019

    New figures released today show the growing positive impact of Hinkley Point C on jobs, skills and people in the South-West and beyond. The numbers are published in the latest annual report into the socio-economic benefits of the nuclear power station which is under construction in Somerset.

    Hinkley Point C’s Realising the Socio-economic Benefits report measures Hinkley Point C’s performance against ambitions set out before construction began. It shows that:

    Spending with South West businesses reached £980m by the end of January and has now topped £1bn. A further £500m is ready to be spent in new contracts which have already been signed.

    • 6,500 people have worked on the construction site so far
    • 1,700 of the current workforce live in Somerset, of which 300 are under 35 years old
    • 8,500 people have been trained and assessed at the specially built Construction Skills and Innovation Centre near the site
    • 380 apprentices have already been taken on by the project

    As well as tackling climate change by providing decades of reliable, low carbon electricity, Hinkley Point C aims to provide lasting social and industrial benefits. These range from increasing local employment, to the development of a sustainable regional supply chain and the advancement of new training facilities and qualifications.

    The report highlights the big efforts to build a pipeline of skills from schools to the site. Last year, the project worked with 14,500 pupils in over 100 schools and colleges. Efforts to increase the poor level of diversity in construction have shown women succeed in areas traditionally dominated by men – like operating the 50 cranes where half of the first crane apprentices are women. Work to improve accessibility in 2018 also saw the first intake of from a new supported traineeship for those with special educational needs.

    As well as the jobs on site, around 800 people are working in Bristol on the project and thousands more are supplying Hinkley Point C from over 1,100 companies in every part of the UK. For example, around 1,000 workers come from Wales and more than 60 Welsh companies supply the project, including over 200,000 tonnes of steel that will be used on site. Positive benefit is also being felt by businesses close by in Somerset itself, with the report highlighting a number of examples including Portishead based Osprey and Taunton based Viridor. The full report and case studies are available online here.

    Stuart Crooks, Managing Director, Hinkley Point C, said; “Our teams are making great progress on-site, but this report shows we are also delivering on our ambition to make a lasting difference to people, skills and the regional economy. We are providing opportunities for people to develop their talents and build lasting careers”

    Sam Evans, Head of Hinkley Supply Chain Engagement at the Somerset Chamber of Commerce, said: “The work on site is accelerating, creating more and more opportunities for South West businesses to bid for and win valuable contracts as the supply chain grows. What’s especially pleasing is that, far from the list of companies registered all being construction and engineering companies, we are seeing a broad range of sectors represented, including design agencies, catering companies, professional services firms and office fit-out businesses.”

  4. HPC News Update

    March 21, 2019

    World’s Strongest Tower Crane Erected

    In order to lift the components of the first Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) down into Unit 1’s Heat Sink, the world’s strongest tower crane in its class has been erected on Site. Standing 72m high, with a 73m main boom, the crane can lift 330 tonnes and is hard to miss on the skyline.

    The team has been working hard in partnership with contractors Osprey to reach the milestone. At the end of 2018, they saw the arrival of the first machine at Combwich Wharf and, since then, Balfour Beatty has made great progress making sure that the adit, which is where the TBM will be launched, is ready. Three TBM components, including the cutter head, will form the 15m front section of the TBM. They will be welded together and put in a cradle – a structure similar to train tracks. From March through to July, the rest of the adit will be bored and the full 150m length of the TBM will be constructed.

    Peter Ross, Programme Manager, said: “We’re really pleased to be moving ahead with this integral part of the HPC build, in line with our schedule. The first machine will be working hard over the next year to reach 3.5km out in to the Bristol Channel, removing up to 100,000m³ of earth by itself.”


    Tunnel On Track

    In addition to the great progress on the launch adit for the TBM’s and the world’s strongest capacity tower crane in its class, Balfour Beatty is making good progress at Avonmouth. The factory is continuing to churn out the segments that will line the tunnels under the Bristol Channel. At the same time at Avonmouth, work is also pushing on with construction of the steel reinforcements for the heads that will cap the tunnel shafts. The four largest heads, which weigh nearly 5,000 tonnes each, will be built using some of the most complex steel reinforcement ever used by Balfour Beatty.

    Taken from The Point March 2019

  5. Change at the top of the Hinkley Supply Chain

    March 11, 2019

    A familiar face will be taking on a new challenge when she steps up to become the Hinkley Point Project Lead on behalf of Somerset Chamber of Commerce.

    Sam Evans, who is currently the Head of Hinkley Supply Chain Engagement for the Chamber, will become the Hinkley Project Lead in June, when Chris Langdon steps away from the role.

    Chris has been the Project Lead for the Hinkley Supply Chain team since its inception in 2010 and has decided to step away from his role in order to grow his own business.

    Working closely with EDF Energy and key stakeholders over more than eight years, Chris has led the development of the local supply chain and helped to maximise the benefits to businesses in Somerset and the wider South West.

    Stephen Henagulph, Chief Executive of Somerset Chamber of Commerce, said Chris had helped to ensure local businesses were at the forefront of the project to build a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point and thanked him for his commitment and enthusiasm.

    “Chris has made sure Somerset businesses have been at the centre of the Hinkley Point C supply chain and has helped to forge strong, productive relationships between local companies and those across the UK and further afield.

    “Sam will be able to continue Chris’ hard work, ensuring local firms benefit from the huge investment Hinkley Point C is bringing to Somerset, the South West and South Wales.”

    Chris said it had been a privilege to work on the Hinkley Supply Chain project: “This has been a fascinating and challenging project and I have been delighted to be involved right from the start.

    “Working with a strong EDF Energy supply chain engagement team, who have demonstrated commitment to finding innovative ways for this very complex infrastructure project to engage with a local supply chain, has been a privilege.

    “There is always more we can do and I am sure the skilled chamber team in place will rise to the continuing challenge.”

    Sam joined the chamber as a Data Co-ordinator for the Hinkley Supply Chain in 2014 and has been the Head of Hinkley Supply Chain Engagement since 2017.

    Sam said: “I am looking forward to further developing the existing Hinkley Point C Supply Chain team and strengthening relationships with external stakeholders and partners.

    “Hinkley Point C is a huge project, not just for Somerset and the South West, but for the whole of the UK and it’s vital local businesses have a strong voice to represent them.”


    • Hinkley Point C News Update – October 2019

      Work starts on first intake tunnel The first of the Hinkley Point C’s (HPC) three tunnel boring machines, operated by Balfour Beatty, has successfully started the construction of intake tunnel 1. There will be three water cooling tunnels which will feed water to the power station when its operational. Balfour Read more →

    • Hinkley Point C News Update – September 2019

      Big Carl ready for next big milestone The world’s largest crane is ready to start work at the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station site. Able to stand up to 250m tall, “Big Carl” can reach higher than the tallest tower at London’s Canary Wharf and can carry 5,000 tonnes Read more →

    • Hinkley Point C hits it’s biggest milestone yet

      Hinkley Point C has hit its biggest milestone yet on schedule. The completion of the base for the first reactor, known as “J-zero”, means that the construction of the nuclear buildings above ground can now begin in earnest. The final 9,000m³ of concrete was the largest concrete pour in the Read more →

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