Hopes of town jobs bonanza

PUBLISHED: 11:21 26 September 2008 | UPDATED: 21:22 05 July 2010

LOWESTOFT could be heading for a jobs bonanza as the town is ideally placed to take advantage of developments in the energy industry, an MP said yesterday.

LOWESTOFT could be heading for a jobs bonanza as the town is ideally placed to take advantage of developments in the energy industry, an MP said yesterday.

Waveney MP Bob Blizzard was speaking after it was announced that a new nuclear power station could be built on the Suffolk coast at Sizewell and just days before the first tenants move in to the OrbisEnergy centre, at Ness Point, which will be a centre for the offshore renewable energy centre.

“Gordon Brown made it clear this week that this country has to reduce its carbon emissions and to achieve this we will need both nuclear and renewable energy. Lowestoft is particularly well placed to take advantage of this and it could lead to a jobs bonanza for companies in our area,” said Mr Blizzard.

A new twin-reactor nuclear power station could be built and generating electricity in East Anglia within a decade, after a multi-billion-pound deal was agreed between two energy companies.

The French utility group EDF on Wednesday announced a £12.5bn takeover of British Energy, which operates Sizewell B in Suffolk and seven other nuclear power stations across the country.

EDF said it intended to build four nuclear reactors in the UK - two at Sizewell and two at Hinkley Point in Somerset - in a move that would create thousands of jobs in East Anglia. Five thousand people were involved in the construction in the late 1980s and early 1990s of Sizewell B, the last nuclear power station to be built in the UK.

Mr Blizzard said he had met with EDF senior managers who expressed their determination to build at Sizewell.

“These will be major construction projects but it is not only jobs in the construction industry that will be created as there will be a supply chain that will involve a whole range of businesses.

“I believe companies in Lowestoft will be involved and this can only be further good news for the area's economy,” he said.

However, not everyone is welcoming an expansion of nuclear energy in this country and Waveney's Green Party councillor Graham Elliott expressed his dismay at the announcement.

“This deal is a landmark in the Government and nuclear industry's plan to fill the UK with another round of dirty, dangerous and expensive nuclear power stations, but it signals disaster for the development of renewable energy in the UK,” said Mr Elliott.

“The Green Party wants to see a genuinely sustainable future for out energy industry; a 'Green New Deal' with investment in clean, economically wise renewable energy and energy-efficiency and the creation of thousands of skilled long-term jobs.

“Quite apart from the long list of other problems with nuclear power, the diversion of time, research and resources away from these much more valuable industries is a massive blow to the potential of green energy to create a more secure future for our economy,” said Mr Elliott.

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