The multi-billion pound investment planned for the nuclear industry in Wales over the next twenty years presents a once in a generation opportunity for Welsh businesses – if they grasp the opportunity, a new report reveals.
The independent report by Miller Research, commissioned by the Welsh Government and published today (Tuesday 7 April), investigates the current and latent capability of businesses in Wales to respond to opportunities in the nuclear supply chain over the next 20 years.
It highlights the planned investment in new build and decommissioning in Wales, the capabilities of Welsh companies and the potential business prospects if they take advantages of the available opportunities. It also cautions that Wales could miss out on some of the forecast impact if businesses fail to take advantage of the opportunities.
Estimates suggest that planning and construction costs for Wylfa Newydd will be in the region of £14billion (up to 2024 and allowing for inflation), while a further £3.7bn will be contributed ( up to 2033) once operational.
It is estimated that 34% of the new build cost could be spent in Wales and at its peak in 2021, some 6,800 people are expected to be employed constructing the plant. The operational workforce is expected to be at its highest at 875 in 2025.
Between 2013 and 2033, the planning, construction, operation and maintenance of the plant is forecast to make a £2.4 billion (2013 prices) gross value added (GVA) contribution to Welsh GDP. Of this, two thirds will be during the planning and construction phase with the remainder when the plant becomes operational.
After the plant begins to generate electricity, it is forecast to contribute nearly £87 million in gross value added each year (in 2013 prices).
Decommissioning at Wylfa is expected to contribute £630m GVA to the Welsh economy over twenty years, with an additional £310m contribution expected from the continuing decommissioning at Trawsfynydd between 2013 -2033.
The total GVA contribution to the Welsh economy from planning, building, operation and decommissioning is forecast to be some £5.7bn between 2013 and 2033 representing 0.5% of total GVA in Wales over this 20 year period.
Economy Minister Edwina Hart said:
“This report clearly illustrates the scale of the potential investment, the opportunities for Welsh businesses and some of the issues and perceptions that need to be addressed in order to maximise the potential benefits.
It is a once in a generation opportunity and a concerted effort is needed across the board – by businesses and industry and the public and private sectors if we want to ensure that as much of that investment as possible in spent in Wales.
Businesses need to be fully involved if they want to reap some of the potential benefits and a range of support is available through the Welsh Government to help them up their game and I would encourage any interested companies to take advantage of this help”