Local companies which want tap into opportunities for contracts at the proposed new Sizewell C project, near Leiston, were told of ambitious plans to kick-start the hydrogen economy - and develop a low carbon energy hub around the plant - as they attended a supply chain event.
Firms also heard about plans for decarbonising the construction phase of the plant and aspirations to make Leiston the UK’s first Net Zero town.
Steve Carroll, senior supply chain lead at Sizewell C, launched a series of supply chain webinars with an update on the project, explaining how it aligns with the government’s Energy White Paper ‘Powering Our Net Zero Future’, which was published in December.
The government has announced that it is ready enter into discussions about a funding model for Sizewell C.
Financing analyst Joe Butler told delegates at the online event that "green" construction was high on the agenda.
“We want to work with suppliers to understand how the project can be as low carbon and sustainable as possible," he said.
"We are keen to identify opportunities to reduce our carbon footprint, from construction to transport and even the catering, understanding whether the food for the workforce could be grown locally.”
He outlined pioneering plans for a wider energy hub at Sizewell to contribute to UK’s net zero ambitions, including an initiative to kick-start the hydrogen economy - and a Direct Air Capture demonstration project which would involve filtering ambient air to remove the carbon.
Nigel Slinn, commercial director at Ipswich-based recycling firm Sackers, said the event was "fascinating and exciting".
“The scale of the project and potential business that local companies such as ourselves could be involved in will give confidence to the business and indeed our staff for the future.”
Gareth Davies, supply chain engagement head at Suffolk Chamber of Commerce said: “Suffolk Chamber remains committed to maximising the opportunities for local and regional companies at Sizewell C and wholeheartedly supports the Fightback East campaign launched by this newspaper.
“This is just the start of our series of webinars and I would urge anyone wanting to understand more about the project, and how to get involved, to register on our database and tune in to hear not only about Sizewell C, but a whole array of low-carbon initiatives which will develop alongside the power plant.”
To register on the Supply Chain database, visit www.sizewellcsupplychain.co.uk