The contract for site-preparation works at the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station has been awarded to Kier Bam.
The contract announcement, worth more than £100m, was made today by Vincent de Rivaz, chief executive of EDF, at the company’s National Supply Chain event.
EDF outlined billions of pounds of opportunities for further contracts on its nuclear new-build programme, which includes the construction of a twin-reactor nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C in Somerset with Centrica.
The company also revealed plans to create a £15m national training centre in partnership with Bridgwater College in Somerset, with the aim of addressing potential skills shortages in the energy sector by providing training to local residents.
Speaking at a launch event in London, de Rivaz said: ‘This is part of the growth agenda. The contracts we are announcing today will secure more than 500 jobs and provide an immediate economic boost.
‘This is just the beginning. Our project will inject billions of pounds into the economy, revitalise entire sectors of industry and support tens of thousands of jobs.
‘Furthermore, our £15m national training centre in Somerset will help a new generation of young people to develop the skills they need for a bright future and a long-term career.’
Kier Bam’s contract will create an estimated 350 UK jobs from next year and include excavation, earthworks, terracing, the installation of construction site infrastructure and the formation of roads and networks to allow construction to begin.
The preparatory works, which are still subject to planning, will be followed by the main construction works that will see more than 20,000 people work on site over the course of the project.
EDF announced a second agreement with Areva in relation to the early design work for the main reactor systems. This will begin in January and is set to enable the development of equipment specifications, allowing companies to bid for supply contracts.
Areva is already starting to produce the heavy forgings required for critical reactor components, following a contract signed between the companies in July.
De Rivaz added: ‘Today’s announcements demonstrate that UK nuclear new-build is on track and gaining momentum. All this has been made possible by the major progress this year.
‘This includes the significant vote by the UK parliament to endorse the national policy for nuclear, implementation of the carbon price floor and progress on wider electricity market reform, resolution from the local authorities to grant permission to begin work on the site, acceptance of EDF Energy’s planning application by the Infrastructure Planning Commission and significant progress on the EPR design.’
EDF estimates that Hinkley Point C will generate about six per cent of the UK’s electricity needs — enough to meet the needs of about five million homes.