Balfour Beatty named the preferred bidder on nuclear plant contract

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Construction firm Balfour Beatty has been appointed the preferred bidder on a project to build the UK’s first nuclear power plant in two decades

Hinckley Point will be the UK’s first nuclear power plant in 20 years. It has been revealed that Balfour Beatty has been named the preferred bidder to construct the facility in what will be a multi-million pound contract.

The contract will include designing and installing more than 3,000 kilometres of cable—totalling 76,000 in total. It will also see more than 180km of cable containment support systems, fire and environmental sealing, design and installation of earthing systems, and specialist packages associated with data acquisition and plant control. The contract, which will be carried out on behalf of EDF Energy, is worth £460m and is expected to create more than 1,000 jobs.

Engineering group NG Bailey has been named alongside Balfour Beatty in a 50-50 joint venture, called Balfour Beatty Bailey. The venture will recruit a “significant proportion of the new workforce” locally. A total of 60 local apprenticeships and training places will also be provided.

Balfour Beatty Chief Executive Leo Quinn said: “This project enables Balfour Beatty to deploy its extensive experience and knowledge of the nuclear sector as the UK takes its next significant step forward in low-carbon energy.

“The new nuclear programme demands a scale of resources and expertise that only the most capable and trusted partners can deliver.

“Equally significant, the project requires us to draw on the local community and its people in building what will be a highly specialist workforce.”

Additionally, G4S secured a 10-year contract worth £80m to provide security services during the construction process. The firm will provide on-site security management. This will include access control, perimeter security, and visitor search and screening. G4S will also provide vetting of on-side contractors, and will employ 300 staff members.

Doug Hewitson, regional managing director, said: “We have had the privilege of working with EDF at Hinkley Point for the past four years, and this contract award is a great endorsement of the partnership we have developed.

“We are delighted to be part of one of the most complex and challenging construction projects in the UK.”

The Hinkley Point project is set to commence in 2016 and will span six years. Design work and the construction phase will start in 2017.

The power station will provide reliable, low carbon electricity and will meet seven per cent of UK demand. If approval is granted for the project it is expected more than 60 per cent of the construction costs will be placed with UK firms.

EDF said the companies had won preferred bidders status after an “open and fair competition”. A final decision is expected in the coming months. Contracts will then be signed at this point.

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