Staffordshire-based Capula and Exyte Hargreaves from Lancashire are the latest UK engineering companies to create new jobs to support the next phase of construction at the UK Hinkley Point C nuclear plant.
EDF Energy said the companies' 80 new engineering posts are a small part of the 4000 strong workforce who will fit electrical systems, cables and pipes at the nuclear power station.
The work is being delivered by an innovative joint venture – the “MEH Alliance” formed by EDF and its major contractors Altrad, Balfour Beatty Bailey, Cavendish Nuclear and Doosan Babcock.
The MEH Alliance has a £986m contract with EDF Energy to deliver the mechanical, electrical, heating and ventilation works for Hinkley Point C. Its new forecast predicts 1200 new posts and 300 apprenticeships will be created. The fitting of the first five out of 156 storage tanks has marked the beginning of major MEH work on site.
Capula’s new contract to design and build instrument and control cabinets will create 50 new jobs. Bury-based Exyte Hargreaves will create 30 new jobs to design manufacture and commission ventilation systems. Their success follows the recent announcement by Warrington-based Bilfinger UK that it is creating 350 British jobs to design and manufacture specialist pipework for Hinkley Point C.
EDF said Hinkley Point C will help to overcome critical national skills shortages whilst opening up new, sustainable, career opportunities throughout the UK. “Many of the new workers will be making use of new locally based training facilities such as a welding and electrical centre of excellence," it said.
A new welding centre in Bridgwater is supported by the MEH Alliance, the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB), the Weldability SiF Foundation and South West Institute of Technology and Bridgwater & Taunton College. The centre plans to train and qualify 350-500 welders a year.
Simon Parsons, Hinkley Point C MEH Programme Director, said: “In this next major chapter for our project, the MEH phase will join together hundreds of small and large companies from across Britain, creating 1200 new jobs and 300 apprenticeships."
"Development of a near identical power station at Sizewell C will bring further opportunities for our extensive and experienced British supply chain,” he added.
Photo: The MEH phase will need a workforce of over 4000 and will see the installation of electrical systems, cables and pipework (Photo: EDF Energy)