“From here on in, the world will be watching us,” said EDF Energy CEO Vincent de Rivaz. “Not just to see whether EDF Energy or its supply chain can deliver what they promise, but to see how well the UK rises to this historic challenge.”

EDF is developing Hinkley Point C and Sizewell C roughly in parallel, said Richard Mason, Nuclear New Build director of planning and external affairs, with about 18 months between reactor units.

EDF has chosen to play a role of architect-engineer in managing the new-build projects in France and the UK, and potential projects in Italy. It is setting up a new office in London for controlling nuclear new-build licensing and construction.

EDF requires all potential suppliers to register at http://portail-achats.edf.com to enter a demanding pre-qualification phase to be shortlisted for an invitation to tender (generally six months later).

Pre-qualification is currently underway for earthworks and main civil engineering, and mechanical and electrical erection. Existing Areva subcontractors will be allowed to skip pre-qualification. Those companies who send in a tender will need to separate the technical element from the commercial (cost) element; EDF will only go on to the cost element once it determines that the technical spec is in compliance. Tender selection criteria is either lowest cost or most economically advantageous (on which there will be scored criteria).

Tenders to be launched include HR gantry crane; lifts & goods lifts; and hoists.