Frequently Asked Questions

Q) Why should I register?

A) The Sizewell C Supply Chain database will be used to match the requirements of Tier 1s involved in the prospective construction of Sizewell C, with suitably skilled Local (Suffolk) and Regional (Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Herts and Essex) companies.

The main works at Sizewell C will be delivered via approximately 150 major contracts to “Tier 1” contractors, each of these major contractors will need to find their own suppliers, but are being encouraged to include local suppliers; one way this can be done will be through these local suppliers registering on www.sizewellcsupplychain.co.uk

Q) Do I register as a Direct or Indirect Supplier?

A) To register as:

Direct Supplier – businesses whose work or service is directly related to the potential construction of Sizewell C or associated development. These businesses are required to submit financial information, quality management standards and details of recent projects. The businesses that choose this slightly more detailed registration are referred to as “Sizewell C site contractors”

Indirect Supplier – A simpler registration to those suppliers who can offer services to EDF Energy and main contractors that are not directly related to on-site activity (such as taxi firms, accommodation providers, office supplies, local retailers etc). Providers of these “indirect services” do not need to provide financial information and quality management accreditation.

In order to aid the supplier search facility we have given you the opportunity to submit a range of keywords that specifically describe your core capabilities. We strongly recommend you review this section of your registration before submission.

Some additional fields may be included which will become apparent to Sizewell C Site contractors.

Q) What happens after I register?

A) You will get an email confirming that we have received your submission. We will then review the data completed for any gaps or areas requiring clarification and then we will assess your submission as:

  • “Not Ready” will be where there is no data submitted for important fields – assessed in relation to the type of capability (e.g. supplier of office consumables will not be expected to submit the level of data that a steel fabricator will require)
  • “Almost Ready” will have submitted most of the important data but there may be clarification required (e.g. on business capability, accreditations, or additional information on projects delivered – again, this is judged on the type of service being offered)
  • “Ready” will be those where all data is submitted and the business categories, accreditations, and project experience are clear (again, this is judged on the type of service being offered)

Q) What support is available to get me to “Ready” status?

A) The “Ready” status for your business is determined by making sure you register full and accurate information about your business on the supply chain portal. This status is a declaration of full and accurate information – not a pre-qualification report on your capabilities and quality management systems.

In addition to achieving the desirable “Ready” status it will also be important for you to understand the level of quality and safety standards and systems that will be required for the type of service or product you offer. In addition to the information presented during the schedule of workshops and events that are being organised. Suffolk Chamber is working with a variety of partners to help businesses address the opportunities and challenges that the prospective building of a new power station would present.

Suffolk Chambers of Commerce will encourage your involvement in all aspects of this project:

  • Marketing – how do I market my business with Sizewell C supply chain and what do I need to capitalise on the experience if I am successful in tendering.
  • Finance – What financial planning (investment, access to capital, cash flow considerations etc) will I need to undertake to ensure that any business that I win is profitable.
  • Skills – intensive support on systems to enable planned staff development – skills gap analysis, training plans, appraisals, succession planning, recruitment & selection procedures etc.
  • Operations – what controls do I need in place to ensure that I am performing in line with internal/external expectations?

Q) Do you have any tips on keywords?

A) The improved supplier portal is asking suppliers to provide some keywords to describe key or core activities. These supplement the capability descriptions and are also stored to help identify suppliers to EDF Energy and authorised contractors when they are searching for suppliers for the variety of capabilities. The keywords we suggest you use are the ones that:

  • Describe the core capability categories your business offers;
  • Describe specialist skills, not obvious from your chosen categories; and
  • Are the likely words that contractors may think of when searching for suppliers. For example: A small hotel might use the following keywords: Hotel; accommodation; bed & breakfasts; meeting rooms; conference; restaurant; eating out; wifi. An engineering business might use the following keywords: Civil Engineering, Design Engineers, Trenchless Pipelines, Electricity Ducts, Cable Installation, Pipe-jacking, Tunnelling, Guided Auger Boring, Horizontal Directional Drilling, Tunnel Renovation.

Q) My company already has a history of working with EDF Energy on the Sizewell B site. Do I still need to register on the Supply Chain Portal?

A) Registering on the portal is not the only way for potential customer contractors to know about your services. However, EDF Energy has made it clear that they will predominantly use the information about businesses registering on the Sizewell C Supply Chain website to find Local (Suffolk), Regional (Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Herts & Essex) suppliers. They will encourage contractors to do the same. If you are not registered on this portal, then you will need to rely on other means of getting yourself known. It is your decision!

Q) My company is based in the East of England but not in Suffolk; am I still able to register on the Supply Chain and attend events?

A) The portal does not prevent any business from registering wherever that business is located. EDF Energy has made it clear that their focus is to ensure effective engagement with Local and Regional suppliers. The supplier matching process, together with supporting events hosted by the Sizewell C Supply Chain team, will be predominantly focused on these businesses.

If the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce is asked to assist in the sourcing of a supplier for EDF Energy or another main contractor, they will initially look at the Local and Regional databases. If, however, there is a lack of capability in the Local and Regional geographic areas for the requirements being sought, then the search would be broadened to beyond these counties.

Q) How can I find out what contracts are coming up that I can bid for?

A) The Suffolk Chamber Supply Chain Team will liaise with EDF and Tier 1 contractors as to potential and actual tenders relating to work at Sizewell C. The Chamber will communicate with all potential portal members that may be interested and or have the capabilities to meet the respective contract requirements.

EDF Energy requires our help to source companies who can match their requirements, as do the major contractors. This is a large project that will be delivered over forthcoming years. Once we are informed by EDF Energy on which major contractors are being invited to tender, we aim to make sure that the companies bidding for these contracts are aware of the Local and Regional supplier databases; passing on details of the “Ready” companies that meet the respective requirements.

Q) What can I do to increase my chances of being invited to tender?

A) As explained, we would suggest that you seriously consider the following:

  • Register on www.sizewellcsupplychain.co.uk with accurate and full data
  • Make your capabilities clear and list a comprehensive set of key words within your company registration on the portal.
  • Attend the events and workshops; read the articles and updates that will be uploaded to understand the safety and quality standards required for your prime capability.
  • EDF Energy have made it clear that they will require ISO or equivalent quality and safety standards to be met by businesses seeking contracts on the site. Therefore, take the time to find out what is involved, what the benefit might be to your business in the nuclear new build and other markets. Make an assessment as to the potential return on investment. The Sizewell C Supply Chain portal will soon update any contact information that can assist with this.
  • Carry out your usual business development; marketing and sales activity to find out which contractors might need your services and when they might need it.

Q) How can I get to understand what Tier 1s working in the Nuclear Industry want and how can my company develop a unique selling point?

A) Once Tier 1 contractors have been engaged, Suffolk Chamber of Commerce will meet with both EDF Energy and Tier 1’s to underline their requirements. This information will be segmented into the respective supplier categories as per the Sizewell C Supply Chain portal and dispatched to applicable companies.

We would suggest that you continue to keep updated via news and articles posted on Sizewell C Supply Chain website to gain a further understanding of what may and/or will be required. From this, you can take advantage of training and skills development; modify your strategy; and consider accreditations in order to enhance your profile to potential buyers.

Q) This is a huge project and I am a small business. What is the scale of work likely to be contracted out to businesses like mine?

A) The range and size of opportunities is considerable across a wide spectrum of business activity. For example:

  • There will be requirements for smaller buildings, such as accommodation blocks and covered storage areas etc that main contractors are likely to put out to tender. This would involve ground works, construction, wiring, plumbing etc.
  • There will be logistics requirements to operate storage areas and move materials around the site.

When your company decides to submit a tender for any package you must remember that this will be a competitive situation. Do not be slow in asking for advice as to how the Chamber could assist you in improving your bid.

Q) Must I address my questions through the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, or can I speak directly to EDF Energy; if so, who are the main contractors?

A) Please direct all queries to the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce Supply Chain Team. EDF Energy has asked Suffolk Chamber of Commerce to help co-ordinate and drive the local supplier engagement. The Sizewell C Supply Chain portal is managed by the Suffolk Chamber on behalf of EDF Energy and will develop into a major source of information for local suppliers including information about the project, the project timetable, and the contracts being offered for enquiry, events, news, and support.

Q) Where can I find information on consultation for Sizewell C?

A) For all FAQs regarding consultation please go to: http://sizewell.edfenergyconsultation.info/questions/

For information regarding the project including updates on the project please go to: http://sizewell.edfenergyconsultation.info/