Going nuclear- and the benefits to Suffolk

Steve Carroll, senior supply chain lead, nuclear development – Sizewell  C, outlines the progress being made to prepare Suffolk’s business community for the prospective approval of Sizewell C

Q: What is your personal and professional background?

A: I started my career as an electrical apprentice with ICI in Manningtree and then progressed to join Sizewell B, the UK’s only pressurised water reactor which delivers power for over 2.5million homes. After gaining experience about how the station works within the maintenance department, I moved into a commercial role with the supply chain team. I worked my way up to be the head
of contract management. I really enjoyed working with so many fantastic businesses here in Suffolk which are an important part of the Sizewell B supply chain. In June 2020 I took the opportunity to join Sizewell C as a senior supply chain lead to build more relationships with businesses in our region and across the country.

Q: What is your role?

A: Essentially my role is to  ensure that local, regional nd national companies are ready and able to work with Sizewell C and that there is policy in place to enable this to happen. The local and regional aspect of this is where we link in with Suffolk Chamber of Commerce.

Q: What is EDF trying to achieve with the SZC supply chain and how does the relationship work with the Suffolk Chamber?

A: Sizewell C will deliver an economic boost to the region. The project is estimated to be worth £2bn to Suffolk and £4.4bn to the region. We are working hard to ensure it is a catalyst for positive change, helping to level up the region and spread opportunities for businesses to work with us and other developments in the East of England. We chose to partner with Suffolk Chamber following
the successes delivered by our sister station Hinkley Point C and the Somerset Chamber. That partnership has delivered £3.5bn in contracts with companies in the South-West. As the voice of Suffolk business, the Suffolk Chamber is best placed to support us in achieving the same outcome in Suffolk.

Q: How well is Suffolk Chamber doing in managing the supply chain for SZC?

A: Great! We have over 1,600 (and rising) businesses that have registered their interest and they cover a diverse area of skills from civils to catering and lots in-between!

Q: What have been the achievements to date that you are most proud of in this role?

A: For me it is always about the people, so from the outset it was important to me to ensure that we opened up access to the project for those that would like to work with us. It really is about having a place for everyone at the table, from large businesses and SMEs down to individuals working for themselves.

Q: What commitments have your secured from Tier 1 companies to use local and regional firms?

A: We have a very clear commitment to work with local businesses and ensure local people can take part in the project. For example, our planning application details that a third of the construction workforce will come from the local area. It makes good business sense to ensure a sustainable long-term work force that is homegrown. This is also great news for other developments in the region which stand to benefit from the boost in skills that Sizewell C will deliver.

Q: What are your priorities between now and when the Government deliver their verdict on the SZC project?

A: We will continue to work closely with Suffolk Chamber to  make sure we have a thorough understanding of the business community in Suffolk. It is important we know what business strengths we have locally and that we have the relationships in place to support those businesses when it is time to tender for work. It is also important for us to ensure those companies we partner with share the same values as Sizewell C, particularly around diversity, inclusion and sustainability.

Q: If you could give one piece of advice to a business which wishes to be part of Sizewell C, what would it be?

A: Engage with the Chamber supply chain team – they provide a great resource for the business community and can share advice and get you ready to work with us. The team will be the first to know when tenders are due to be released and can point you in the direction of available

funding if you need to upskill your business.

Q: What does ‘success’ look like in Suffolk, once Sizewell C is built and producing energy?

A: We are determined to create a legacy by growing businesses in a sustainable way so they can bid for other large contracts and help put Suffolk firmly on the map as a county capable of delivering large infrastructure projects.

for further information:


Source: Chamber Voice Winter 2022