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Rallying cry over power station business

PUBLISHED: 07:33 03 June 2009 | UPDATED: 09:54 06 July 2010

A rallying cry was sounded last night for businesses in the east of England to seize their share of the multi-million pound investment bonanza which will be created by a new power station.

A rallying cry was sounded last night for businesses in the east of England to seize their share of the multi-million pound investment bonanza which will be created by a new power station.

EDF Energy announced earlier this year that Sizewell will be home to one of its four new nuclear power stations, which could create up to 5,000 jobs in the area.

The existing facility, Sizewell B, already employs 700 full-time staff and puts £30m into the local economy through wages alone.

Now industry representatives are urging local companies to grasp the opportunities which will be created through new employment at the power station and indirect jobs at suppliers and contractors.

Waveney MP Bob Blizzard said that the east of England needs to embrace the chance to become the hub of the UK's energy industry, with research into renewables as well the new nuclear power station.

He said: “Our area is one that is at great risk from climate change and rising sea levels, but it is also one that can take advantage of the shift towards clean energy.

“With the Orbis centre in Lowestoft for research, the offshore wind farms generating renewable power, and a new nuclear station at Sizewell, we are perfectly placed to be at the heart of a green national grid which will supply clean, affordable energy for decades to come.”

EDF Energy will be hosting a series of conferences later this year to highlight the roles businesses can play in their plans and Mr Blizzard is urging local businesses to get involved.

He said: “This project will bring a jobs bonanza to our area. There are opportunities right down the supply chain for businesses across the east of England.”

John Best, chief executive of the East of England Energy Group (Eeegr), said: “Eeegr has long argued for an integrated supply chain in the east of England. For the last 40 years, we have been delivering a fantastic offshore gas industry that we need to maintain and are now delivering offshore wind power.

“Now we are expanding Sizewell and there's no doubt that with this rich foundation, we're able to thrive on future energy opportunities across the whole spectrum.”

He added: “As a region we are perfectly placed to be the energy region and make substantial contributions to the UK's security of supply as it moves towards a lower carbon future,” he said.

A spokesman for EDF Energy said: “EDF Energy believes that new nuclear build at Sizewell would bring a huge economic boost to the eastern region with potential opportunities for both jobs and the supply chain in the area.”

Companies can register for the EDF Energy conferences and find out more at http://newnuclearopportunities.edfenergy.com. The first conference is at the end of June in London and a regional event will be held locally later this year.

Promoting new opportunities through nuclear power will also be discussed at Eeegr's summer conference, which takes place on July 15 in Newmarket, Suffolk. For more information, visit www.eeegr.com.

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