EDF Energy has confirmed that a Kier and Bam Nuttall joint venture is preferred bidder for its £100 million site preparation works at Hinkley Point C, as reported by CN in March.
At a suppliers event in London today, the energy firm also confirmed an agreement with Areva in relation to the early design work for the main reactor systems which will allow them to begin work in January.
The company also annouced a £15 million investment to establish a world class national training centre in partnership with Bridgwater College in Somerset.
Kier and Bam Nuttall held off competition from rival joint ventures between Balfour Beatty/Vinci and Costain/Sir Robert McAlpine to be named preferred bidder for the preliminary works deal.
EDF Energy chief executive Vincent de Rivaz said: “This is part of the growth agenda. The contracts we are announcing today will secure over 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 £15-million national training centre in Somerset will help a new generation of young people develop the skills they need for a bright future and a long term career.”
The preliminary works contract will create an estimated 350 UK jobs from next year with many workers under this contract living locally to Hinkley Point. The work, which is subject to clearance of planning conditions, includes excavation, earthworks, terracing, installation of construction site infrastructure and formation of roads and networks to allow main construction to begin.
Speaking in London, chief commercial secretary to the Treasury Lord Sassoon said: “The reliable provision of energy is critical to the country’s prosperity and nuclear power has a vital role to play in that vision.
“We welcome EDF Energy’s appetite for investment in the UK’s nuclear programme. In particular, EDF Energy’s £15 million investment in the national training centre in Somerset will help create a highly skilled and competitive workforce: this is good news for the UK.”
The preparatory works will be followed by the main construction works which will see over 20,000 people work on site over the course of the project.
Energy Minister Charles Hendry said: “Making progress on major energy construction projects is critical to our energy security. New power stations will also play a big role in supporting jobs and driving growth across the country.
“We have made significant progress in the last 12 months on facilitating investment to the UK’s new nuclear programme. Up to 20,000 jobs could be on offer at Hinkley Point C and so it will be crucial that all elements of the UK’s nuclear supply chain are engaged at every stage of its construction.”