Boccard chooses UK for new manufacturing facility creating 200 jobs

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Photo credit: Boccard

Boccard, the global engineering, manufacturing, construction and maintenance company headquartered in Lyon, France and founded in 1918, which specialises in the energy market, has unveiled its first major nuclear production facility in the UK in Broughton, North Wales.

The development will support the growth of the UK’s reputation as a significant strategic location for the advancement of nuclear technologies.

The Boccard Broughton facility will generate 200 highly skilled jobs, of which 50 will be in the supply chain. It will provide a major boost to the Deeside region, which takes in Cheshire and Flintshire on the Wales-England border and which is also home to Airbus’ wing production operations, as well as the £20m Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) which opened in 2019.

The company, founded in 1918 and employing 3,500 employees across operations in 35 countries worldwide, has heralded the move as supporting the renaissance of the nuclear energy industry in the UK and providing the country and Europe with the means to increase its energy resilience and security of supply as the energy transition from fossil fuels to greener sources gathers pace and the need for access to adequate, reliable and affordable clean energy heightens

The facility will be home to the company’s proprietary fully digitalised process (BocTrack®) for the design and manufacture of high integrity piping systems, associated supports, tanks and vessels which are critical components in the construction of nuclear facilities and will support current and future nuclear technologies, from large scale plants, to fast emerging small modular reactors and advanced reactor technologies, which will add to the energy generation mix.

The new UK operation builds on Boccard’s extensive track record spanning 50 years in the nuclear industry, in which time the company has supported new build programmes having been involved in the construction of most of France’s nuclear reactor fleet. In the UK, Boccard is involved with various contracts on the Hinkley Point C development which will be the first nuclear power station to be built in the UK for 20 years. The new site, when up and running will generate enough energy to power around 6 million homes over a lifespan of more than 60 years.

Said Bruno Boccard, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Boccard:

Our new facility in North Wales marks a major development in our more than 100-year history and forms part of our strategy to expand our nuclear business here in the UK and our European portfolio. Nuclear is now recognised as a major source of carbon-free energy, which is capable of meeting the world’s growing energy needs and environmental challenges. The UK government clearly believes in the future of this clean energy source and it will also provide much needed energy resilience, security and affordability at a time when supply of power is increasingly uncertain and the cost of energy production is spiralling.

As a business we will be using our five decades of experience across the board, covering design and manufacture, to be at the forefront of driving the solutions of tomorrow in arguably the energy sector that offers the most potential in helping the world achieve its decarbonisation targets as governments globally respond to the challenge of climate change.

We have decided to locate our new digital state-of-the-art plant in Broughton as it is a growing focal point for the nuclear industries and therefore gives us access to a highly-skilled labour pool on our doorstep.

“Moreover, our investment will support sovereign capability manufacturing in the nuclear industry, helping to position the UK as a leading global force in the sector.” 

On opening the new facility, Nigel Cann, Hinkley Point C Delivery Director, commented:

“Hinkley Point C provides over 25,000 job opportunities across the UK and will invest £18 billion into the UK supply chain.

“We have strong links with Wales, with Welsh workers dominant on the construction site. The factory here at Broughton allows our partner Boccard to create quality products with a skilled workforce for Hinkley Point C and follow-on projects.

“I am very happy to be here at the start of the great opportunity this factory and the product it produces offers.”

Economy Minister Vaughan Gething said: “I’m very pleased to see Boccard investing in North Wales, which is testament to the skills and facilities we have in the region. Close to the AMRC and other partners it shows how North Wales has the opportunity to be a major strategic location for nuclear development in the UK.”

The Government’s strategy includes a significant acceleration of nuclear, with an ambition of up to 24GW by 2050, which will represent up to around 25% of Britain’s projected electricity demand.

A key focus of the strategy will be the development of Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) which are already in development and represent the new nuclear era. 

A new government body, Great British Nuclear, has been set up to bring forward new projects, backed by substantial funding, and a £120 million Future Nuclear Enabling Fund has also been launched.

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