Businesses from Suffolk and the East of England demonstrated their support for Sizewell C and their capability to play an active role in the construction of the project by attending a virtual Meet the Buyer event organised by Suffolk Chamber of Commerce this week.
Local and regional companies, with wide ranging capabilities, met with key members of the Sizewell C Civil Works Alliance, which will be responsible for building Sizewell C Power Station, in virtual meeting to comply with Covid-19 restrictions.
Companies interested in early enabling developments heard from Steve Carroll, senior supply chain lead at Sizewell C and Ian Watkins, delivery director for the Civil Works Alliance. Steve updated attendees on the progress of the project, including amendments to the planning application to reduce the number of heavy trucks on the roads, while Ian addressed the scope of the civils programme and said the event was the just start of engagement with the local supply chain.
Guests were then able to speak directly to members of the Alliance in private breakout rooms.
Gareth Davies, head of Sizewell C Supply chain engagement at Suffolk Chamber, said the event was an opportunity to bring interested parties together and start to build a meaningful supply chain involving companies local to the development site.
He said: “While we await government approval for the project, it is important that these discussions take place now to ensure the local and regional supply chain is aligned and ready. This event brought attendees up to date on the project, including expected timelines, and gave them their first ‘one to one’ engagement with members of the Civil Works Alliance in order to gain more of an understanding of the work packages that will become available during the building of Sizewell C power station.”
The event was attended by representatives of more than 50 local and regional companies and was organised by Suffolk Chamber, which has been working with EDF for several years to ensure local companies play an active part in the building of the new twin-reactor power plant.
Steve Dighton, group business development manager of Ipswich-based Breheny Civil Engineering, was among the delegates.
He said: “Being able to be a part of the Sizewell C construction project is the perfect opportunity to contribute to the growth and development of both Suffolk and the UK, whilst providing work and training for our local staff and supply chain.”
Lee Merces, managing director of Highway Workforce at Little Blakenham, was also inspired by the event.
“As a Suffolk-based business, today’s meet the buyer event has given us a very valuable insight into the long-term delivery programme for Sizewell C,” he said. “We now have a clear vision of how we can actively work with the delivery teams and contribute to building the essential infrastructure which will ultimately benefit our local communities and the wider Suffolk economy.”
Gareth also took the opportunity to ask delegates to ensure that the details on the supply chain portal are up to date.
“It is critically important that we are able to contact a key decision maker within the business, as failing to provide the correct details could cause delays and, ultimately, result in you missing out on opportunities as contracts become available. This is particularly important as many people are working from home, whilst others may have left your business.
“If you need further advice and support from Suffolk Chamber, please get in touch and we will be happy to help you.
“We decided to take this event on line to ensure the safety of everyone involved and will endeavour to deliver more events in the coming months. I sincerely hope it is a useful and rewarding exercise, and I wish you every success in engaging your business in the delivery of Sizewell C,” he said.