Atkins, Aedas and RMJM said to be preparing plans for EDF nuclear project
EDF has asked up to five architects to work up plans for its deal to build a new nuclear power station at Sizewell in Suffolk.
BD understands that a final shortlist of architects — believed to include Atkins, Aedas, RMJM and Canaway Fleming — was told two weeks ago to come up with ideas and prices for the main building work, as well as a second contract to cover associated work such as a temporary village to house construction workers.
The French energy giant is already behind the Hinkley Point complex on the Somerset coast, where RMJM-owned YRM and London practice Canaway Fleming are carrying out work — although this scheme has stalled until after EDF makes a final investment decision on the scheme at the end of the year.
The names of bidders for Sizewell are shrouded in secrecy but one source said: “This is effectively an invitation to tender. You have to register, you’re invited to bid and then you go through a series of gateways before they make a decision.”
Among the topics EDF expects architects to cover is site selection, a feasibility study and the impact on the local environment. “At the moment, it’s not really about drawings,” the source said. “It’s about pricing against a brief before the interview process starts.”
An EDF spokesman confirmed: “We are undertaking a tendering process for the role of lead architect on [our] emerging plans at Sizewell. It is not our practice to highlight potential bidders for contracts while a tender is under way.”
The firm’s plans are due to go out to public consultation by the end of the year. The new station is expected to go up next to Sizewell B, which was the last new-build nuclear power station in the UK when it opened back in the mid 1990s.
Sizewell A, which opened in the late 1960s, is currently in the process of being decommissioned.
Despite the delays in starting work, EDF chief executive Vincent de Rivaz has said the government’s commitment to electricity market reform is one of the keys to it building Hinkley.
“[We need} to maintain the momentum on electricity market reform.
Our job is to keep focused on the delivery of Hinkley,” he said.
“Over the coming weeks and months our priority is assembling the right project and agreeing a fair deal with government.”