Atkins is to target roles on the UK’s next generation of new nuclear projects following the government’s decision to give Hinkley Point C the green light.
The engineering giant’s UK chief executive Nick Roberts said it was talking to nuclear clients including Wylfa developer Horizon and Moorside’s developer Nugen about working on the multi-billion-pound projects.
Mr Roberts said Atkins was “in discussion with those projects” about a role for Atkins and talks would continue “over the next few months”.
Atkins is currently working for EDF on the early design stages of the £18bn Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant.
Mr Roberts said the government’s backing of Hinkley was an important signal to the supply chain that other new-build projects would come online in due course.
Last year, Mr Roberts told Construction News the firm had “established relationships with a number of progressive Chinese outbound contractors” to work with in the UK.
Mr Roberts said this work was “ongoing” and its relationship with Chinese organisations continued to be positive.
He said: “I think the focus is currently on Hinkley, there are lots of ongoing conversations about the sequence of ongoing projects and that will become clearer in time.”
Atkins saw its profits jump by a third as it posted its half-year results yesterday, shaking off concerns earlier this year that the EU referendum could lead to contract slowdowns in the infrastructure market.
In the six months to 30 September, Atkins’ UK and Europe division posted an operating profit of £39.4m, up 32 per cent from £29.8m in the same period of 2015.
Revenue hit £451.2m, down from £458.7m a year earlier, while staff headcount as of 30 September was down 6 per cent from 9,865 to 9,274.
The company said the infrastructure market looked strong following commitments by government to invest in major projects.
Atkins’ activity in the transport sector during the period was mixed, however, with delays and cancellations to Network Rail’s signalling programme having a negative impact on the company and leading to job losses.