I'd like to take this opportunity to reflect back on 2017 and share what we have in store this year.
2017 has been another significant year in the UK nuclear industry: driven by global political and economic levers, we have seen a significant amount of disruption in both the investor community and within the supply chain. And this disruption has affected us as an interested community of suppliers, albeit indirectly in some cases. We welcome SNC Lavalin to UK shores after their successful acquisition of WS Atkins Ltd; Wood Group is forging ahead in the industry after acquiring AMEC FW (and have just won a major contract in HPC); NuGen has announced that KEPCO has won preferred bidder status for the Moorside project after the withdrawal of Toshiba Westinghouse; and the NDA are in the process of change, responding to the Holliday enquiry. Despite the distractions of BREXIT and the negotiation around the shape and form of our withdrawal from the EU, the UK Government is trying to re-invigorate the domestic SMR competition and has released the Industrial Strategy White Paper that calls out Nuclear as a strategically important sector and one that is in the process of negotiating a 'deal'. And a little closer to home, Vincent de Rivaz recently stepped down as EDF Energy's successful CEO, in November, to be relieved by Simone Rossi. This internal appointment created a re-shuffle that has brought Stuart Crooks (formerly of EDF Generation) to the MD role in HPC as the project progresses into construction with the Chinese partners; and in Barnwood, Brian Cowell has stepped up, internally to relieve Stuart as the MD. I could go on but in summary we are seeing lots and lots of change. And for a developing supply chain, change brings opportunity. In short, we face some really positive signals in 2018. So here's to the year ahead!
And behind all of this, NSW has been making a huge impact; we continue to resonate within the industry and our twin aims - representing and promoting the region and opening the door to the wider nuclear industry - are certainly being met.
Here are some of the activities and achievements from 2017:
- We hosted our biggest annual conference (co hosted with SW Nuclear Hub), in September with:
- 135 delegates
- Over 50 business-to-business matchmaking meetings, including multi-national
- Varied speakers covering new build, decommissioning and defence
- A Women in Nuclear (WIN) speed mentoring event
- Summer networking in July
- French-British nuclear cluster event with Department for International Trade in October
- Exhibited at the NDA Supply Chain event in November
- We significantly contributed to the proposed Nuclear Sector Deal
- We have renewed a relationship with MOD, to plan events in 2018
- We have built a closer working relationship with SW Nuclear Hub - and are exploring opportunities for export
- We have launched a new pilot scheme - working with decommissioning partners to identify opportunities for SW based supply chain with innovative solutions to problems
- We have a new member section on web site – (please pass your details to Jessica so we can upload them)
- We can now now include Member case studies in newsletters and online
What a portfolio of achievements! And a look forward to 2018 plans include:
- n innovation in supply chain event
- One or more defence events
- North-South collaboration events with Britain’s Energy Coast Business Cluster
- DIT Civil Nuclear Showcase
- Spring networking
- World Nuclear Exhibition delegation, June
- Summer networking
- Annual conference, 19th September
And one final point I would like to share is that we are trying to make NSW even more impactful. One of the board members and I will be visiting the NIA to discuss how we can operate more effectively in the sector and how we could integrate with wider industry initiatives - the intention is to deliver more value for you all. I will, of course, keep you informed as those discussio progres and what they mean for our future.
Thank you for your continued support for Nuclear South West, and we look forward to working with you in 2018.