Whether you provide scaffolding or sausages, the business opportunities that the construction of Sizewell C nuclear power station will provide are significant. This information was shared at our latest event at Harlow Rugby Club over lunch this week.
At the first event to promote the Sizewell C supply chain since the government granted planning permission on 20 July 2022, speakers from Suffolk Chamber of Commerce (who have been appointed to build the Sizewell C supply chain) presented an overview of the project and the types of suppliers that will be required over the 10–12-year construction period. Further insights were imparted including how to register your interest as a supplier and key factors to consider in your registration.
What are the supply chain opportunities?
Ashley Shorey-Mills, Head of Sizewell C Supply Chain Engagement, Suffolk Chamber of Commerce explained the first works to take place cover the transport links to the site using a combination of new routes and improvements to rail, sea and road networks. Work packages for these advance works and associated development packages will be released in 2022. For the site itself, land to the north and west of the main construction site will be used temporarily during construction with developments including freight management facilities, a logistics facility for construction materials, park and ride facilities, accommodation campus and caravan sites including catering and leisure centres, warehouses, rail line extensions and jetty and beach landing facilities. The intention is to minimise the weight of construction material and equipment travelling to site by road as far as possible. Ideally one third of the total will go by rail and the majority by sea.
Sizewell C will also build a desalination plant to provide the new power station with cooling water taken from the North Sea. It will use waste steam from the adjacent Sizewell B nuclear plant to generate clean hydrogen to help power the park and ride buses and the construction plant.
These represent significant supply chain opportunities for construction and associated businesses. The slide presentation given on 27th July (and now available to Opportunity Harlow members on the portal) shows current indicative timescales for different elements of construction to take place. Although the dates will be subject to change, the order in which work will be undertaken will not.
Statistics highlighting some key requirements of the project:
- 9.7km new temporary rail track
- 33 level crossing upgrades
- 1.2km of tunnelling
- 82,000 sq metres of building accommodation
- 2,000,000 sq ft of warehousing
- The world’s largest crane
- 11km of new roads
- 1,200,000t of steel reinforcement
Important Points to Consider
Key project themes which businesses considering being part of this project should consider:
- The provision of local jobs, skills and opportunities.
- Creating a positive impact on the region, helping the business community to grow and be prepared for future large infrastructure projects.
- Contribution to the Net Zero goal of the Sizewell C project and the UK’s targets.
- The project will also include a physical and virtual innovation hub. Small businesses with innovative products or services – which could potentially improve efficiency, reduce carbon use and/or lower costs to the project – can present their technology to Sizewell C and their main contractors.
The Sizewell C Supply Chain Portal
Julia Hale, Business Advisor – Sizewell C Supply Chain Engagement, Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, provided more in-depth information for suppliers wishing to register their interest.
Different phases of the project will present different supply chain opportunities, but local companies should register on the supply chain portal now.
Julia highlighted that smaller suppliers who may be unable to meet the demands of larger contracts, should consider collaborations and joint ventures with complimentary companies or even competitors to help them win tenders.
What does the portal provide?
- Business support to help you get ready to tender this may include ISO accreditations or support with social value and environmental policies
- Work packages – some advance works and associated development packages will be released from 2022
- Business directories to enable networking, and information about project updates
- Details of future events to ensure suppliers stay up to date with developments and can attend sector specific seminars
The importance of a good registration on the Supply Chain portal
As well as being automatically notified, you may be contacted by the supply chain engagement team, who are actively searching the portal to find relevant suppliers.
Julia highlighted that the portal is your opportunity to showcase your businesses. Take time to update it, add value and keep it updated. It should provide the best possible representation of your business. The more information it holds, the more likely you are to be matched to a work package. For example, if you have experience in particular area, ensure you upload a relevant case study.
Next steps for interested suppliers
The seminar concluded with next steps:
- Stay Active – keep up to date with the latest news
- Be Patient – different phases of the project will present different opportunities
- Start Now – register on the portal
Where to register your interest
Visit www.sizewellcsupplychain.co.uk to register your interest and receive regular updates on the project.
- Opportunity Harlow members can find more information in the Resources section of the portal
- Sizewell C and its Supply Chain Opportunities Presentation Slides by Ashley Shorey-Mills
- A full video of the event coming soon
- Advice from Somerset Larder on how local suppliers can come together as a consortium
Who were the speakers?
- Ashley Shorey- Mills, Head of Sizewell C Supply Chain Engagement, Suffolk Chamber of Commerce.
- Julia Hale , Supply Chain Business Advisor, Sizewell C Supply Chain