Sellafield Ltd is agreeing what is thought to be the UK’s first ever public procurement that guarantees benefits for the community.
A decade-long package of socioeconomic investment will be delivered via the Decommissioning Delivery Partnership (DDP) framework, including jobs, apprenticeships and work for small and medium-sized businesses.
Under the framework, worth a predicted £500m, the first four confirmed ‘delivery partners’ – made up of 12 companies – will enter a 10-year agreement to support Sellafield Ltd staff on the decommissioning of Europe’s most complex nuclear site.
In order to be chosen, the companies had to demonstrate how they will support Sellafield Ltd’s socioeconomic strategy, with particular emphasis on the key themes of skills, growth and community. They were also assessed on other factors including quality and value during a two-year tendering process.
Of the 12 selected companies, 11 are based in, or have a significant presence in, Cumbria. All have committed at least 20 per cent of their sub-contracting spend with small to medium-sized enterprises.
The successful companies, working as part of four consortia or joint ventures, are now working with Sellafield Ltd to finalise the details of their socioeconomic commitments. Sellafield Ltd is also finalising the framework agreements with two other consortia who were successful in the initial tendering process, and they will be confirmed once legal and commercial arrangements are in place.
Among the pledges given by the selected companies are:
- a ‘local first’ recruitment approach, with one consortium aiming for 95 per cent of work to be done by Cumbrian workers
- a commitment to give 150 jobs to ‘under-represented or disadvantaged’ people
- a commitment to create up to 240 new apprenticeships over the 10 year agreement
- companies promising to provide training, school outreach and business mentoringAnd, in what is believed to be a first for public spending in the UK, these commitments will be written into the contract, meaning companies would lose out financially if they fail to deliver.
The delivery partners confirmed so far are:
- Independent data analysis of the £500M DDP framework has found that 1,140 jobs a year could be created or supported during the 10-year contract period.
- Integrated Decommissioning Solutions (comprising Energy Solutions EU Ltd, Hertel (UK) Ltd, North West Projects Ltd and Westlakes Engineering Ltd)
- The Nexus Decommissioning Alliance (Costain Oil, Gas and Process)
- Cumbria Nuclear Solutions Ltd (Shepley Engineers, James Fisher Nuclear Ltd, REACT Engineering Ltd, Jacobs Stobbarts, Westinghouse Electric Company UK Ltd, WYG Engineering Ltd).
- The Decommissioning Alliance (Jacobs UK Ltd, Energy Solutions EU Limited, Westinghouse Electric Company UK Ltd)
Paul Foster, Managing Director of Sellafield Ltd, said: “Our first priority will always be the safe, secure and cost-effective clean-up of Sellafield.
“But alongside that is a commitment to help deliver a long-term, sustainable economic future for our local community.
“DDP will help achieve this by placing socioeconomic outcomes at the heart of the contract from the outset and by holding contractors to account on delivery.”
“We have listened to our stakeholders and worked with Government, the NDA and our supply chain to design a responsible, sustainable procurement that uses public sector contracts to unlock investment from the private sector, backed up by the power of a legally binding contract.”
A £500m investment under DDP from now until 2025 would represent an expected spend of more than £95 for every minute of the next decade to help clean up the highest priority hazards at Sellafield.
The work to be carried out under the contract has already been mapped out as part of Sellafield’s existing performance plan.
But there is extra ‘headroom’ in the framework of up to £1.5 billion, meaning the total investment could potentially be even greater than the predicted £500m, depending on how Sellafield Ltd prioritises and delivers its work.