Bristol Port was this month celebrated as a key South-West business supporting the creation of Britain’s first new nuclear power plant in more than 20 years, at Hinkley Point C.`
The significant role played by the Port in the logistics supply chain for the multi-billion pound project was recognised by the Government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), and EDF Energy, the power giant behind the new plant. The Port has won contracts which make it a critical hub for the infrastructure required to develop one of the largest building sites in Europe for the next 10 years. In a video posted by EDF Energy showcasing its partnership with the Port, David Brown, CEO, said: “We are hugely proud to be involved in the Hinkley Point C contract.
“The site is only 32 sea miles from us, 45 road miles, and we’ve become involved in every single element of the logistics supply chain. Sea transport is a very efficient and clean way to move very heavy items, from wherever they have been manufactured, into Bristol. The Port acts as a muster point enroute to Combwich Wharf, and onwards to the site itself.”
Balfour Beatty, one of the main contractors for the EDF Energy site recently moved on to the Port estate (pictured above) where tunnel sections and underwater heads that will provide the power station with cooling water will be manufactured. Additional land is also being provided for the storage of Abnormal Indivisible Loads (AIL’s) equipment that is too big to move on the motorway network and therefore will be taken down to Hinkley by barge.
EDF Energy have been working with a number of local supply chain operators. Figures released by BEIS show that companies in the South West have now won contracts worth more than £1.3 billion for the project. The updated totals show that £650m has already been spent with the region’s businesses.
Nigel Cann, Hinkley Point C Delivery Director, said South-West firms had “worked hard” to win contracts and meet the high standards of safety, quality and efficiency required on the project. He said: “They have been real pioneers and shown ambition and determination. Their experience provides a lesson for other regions to follow.”
David Brown said: “As a family company we have put a huge amount of effort into local contacts and local businesses, and when we’ve had some work we’ve been unable to do ourselves we’ve been very impressed by the EDF Energy management team, who have always encouraged us to involve local supply chain operators to get involved with this hugely exciting project.”
The South West is set to benefit by £200m each year during peak construction, according to the BEIS report. When fully operational, the power plant will deliver low-carbon power to some six million homes - seven per cent of the UK's power for 60 years.
Minister for Business and Industry, Richard Harrington MP, said: "Hinkley Point C will be pivotal in providing clean energy for the future, as well as creating high-skilled, well paid jobs right now in the South-West with companies becoming world leaders in nuclear construction and services, all part of our flagship modern Industrial Strategy.