Suffolk businesses should start to prepare now for the opportunities at Sizewell C, attendees at a webinar have been told.
The virtual event, hosted by Suffolk Chamber of Commerce’s Sizewell C Supply Chain, welcomed guest speakers from EDF who updated delegates on the project to build a new nuclear power station in Suffolk and shared experiences from work to build identical reactors at Hinkley Point C in Somerset.
Tom McGarry, head of stakeholder engagement at Sizewell C, gave an overview of the planning application which is now being considered, sharing detail about the construction of the site, planned road and rail improvements and how the environment and safety has been put at the heart of the plans.
He introduced Steve Carroll who has recently been appointed senior supply chain lead at Sizewell C. Steve is based in Suffolk and will be the primary contact for local businesses in collaboration with the Suffolk Chamber
Miles Vartan of Vartan Consultancy, and a key advisor the chamber, spoke about regulatory alignment and how companies hoping to win contracts would have to demonstrate a positive culture as well as the correct certification to be successful at Sizewell. He also encouraged delegates to embrace regular gap analysis exercises with the chamber to identify where work needed to be done.
Suffolk Chamber was also pleased to welcome Jamie Driver, EDF supply chain manager at Hinkley Point C in Somerset. Jamie offered first hand experience of building a complex supply chain at Hinkley, shed light on the procurement process, touched on supplier competencies and stressed the importance of local businesses working collaboratively.
“The message we want to get out to all of you today,” said host Gareth Davies, head of Supply Chain Engagement at Suffolk Chamber, “is that now is the time to start preparing yourselves for Sizewell C.
“If you have more to do in terms of regulatory alignment and making changes, then start now.
“We have also heard that collaboration is key; you must be prepared to work collaboratively. Do not see other local companies in the same field as you as competitors, but possible allies.
“Finally, we must urge that you should live by the standards you have achieved – they are not just certificates but standards to which you should aspire in everything you do.”
The webinar is the first of its kind run by the Sizewell C Supply Chain and will be followed by further targeted events looking at key sectors, joint ventures and meet the buyers.