Demise of nuclear power stations may open doors

Thursday, July 10, 2008

BUSINESS is being encouraged to capitalise on the demise of Wales’ nuclear power stations.

The Welsh Assembly Government is working with Magnox North to develop a local supply chain and identify a range of potential opportunities for local businesses.

It is hoped the measures will help businesses raise their game to ensure they have the capacity and capability to benefit from the decommissioning of nuclear power stations in the region.

The cost of decommissioning Trawsfynydd and Wylfa power stations – as well as the possibility of extending Wylfa – runs into hundreds of millions of pounds offering substantial long term supply opportunities for local companies.

Leighton Andrews, Deputy Minister for Regeneration, said that maximising these benefits for Welsh companies formed a key part of the Môn a Menai Action Plan which is geared to drive forward the regeneration of the region. He said the Assembly Government is supporting companies to raise their game to ensure they would be in a position to bid for and win contracts.

Mr Andrews said: “This represents a major opportunity for a wide range of businesses to benefit from developments on their doorstep. We are supporting them to take advantage of this potential business which can bring economic benefits to local communities and play a significant role in the wider regeneration of the region.”

Magnox North manages the operations and decommissioning programmes for five nuclear licensed sites – including the two in Wales – on behalf of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.

It is looking to introduce development principles, consistent with Assembly Government sustainable development principles, into its procurement contracts and is piloting this on its Welsh sites.

This can include social clauses and effectively limits the geographical area that goods or services are sourced – creating new opportunities for local companies.

More than 120 companies from North and Mid Wales attended a workshop and suppliers and buyers day designed to help local business to “Raise its Game”.

The joint initiative was organised by the Assembly Government, Wylfa, Trawsfynydd, Menter a Busnes, Ynys Môn and Gwynedd County Councils and Bangor University.

Magnox North highlighted what work will be undertaken on the sites over the next five years, what is expected of their sub- contractors and how companies can meet their criteria.

The main opportunities for small and medium-sized suppliers are through Magnox North’s key contractors who were present and discussed future sub-contracting opportunities on the two sites.

The Assembly Government’s Flexible Business Support programme can help companies attain the necessary accreditations and criteria including quality performance and management systems needed to bid for contracts.

The range of goods and services required is quite extensive and contracts required include landscaping, demolition, construction, site security, IT and communications, facilities management, general electrical and non-hazardous waste management.

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