Government names preferred bidder for Sellafield
A consortium of three firms from the US, UK and France have been named as the preferred bidder for a lucrative, multibillion-pound contract to run the UK's biggest nuclear site.
US giant Washington International, Amec of the UK and French firm Areva beat three rivals to win the race to manage work at the huge Sellafield site in Cumbria. The reprocessing and clean-up work will be worth £1.3bn a year, generating estimated profits of £50m a year.
The contract, which has been described as being on a similar financial scale to the London Olympics in 2012, will initially run for five years, but could be extended to 17 years.
Dr Ian Roxburgh, chief executive of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, which made the announcement, said the appointment of the consortium, known as Nuclear Management Partners, was a "significant step forward" in the NDA's drive to attract world- class management and innovation to the UK's nuclear decommissioning industry.
"We have successfully completed an intensive evaluation process aimed at securing the best possible parent body for Sellafield, where the most complex challenges we face exist. Nuclear Management Partners have emerged from a very strong field of four bidders, all of whom surpassed the evaluation threshold.
"The NDA will now move towards contract finalisation and ultimately the award of this contract, the successful implementation of which is crucial to the mission of the overall clean-up and decommissioning of the UK's existing nuclear legacy."
Stephen Henwood, chairman of the NDA, said: "This competition involves one of, if not the, most significant public sector procurements for UK plc. The importance of achieving world-class performance throughout the Sellafield sites cannot be underestimated."