For the past three years, efforts have been made to set up a strong collaboration between the Cantabria Industries Nuclear Cluster (CINC) and the Wales Nuclear Forum (WNF). Three years ago, the Welsh Government Energy division and ENSA Spanish Government owned industry met in Santander to establish and develop a collaborative link between like-minded industries in Spain and Wales.
At that point in time, the WNF did not reach an agreement, due to the forum being in its early development stages. However, following the strong and purposeful growth of the WNF and the strength and recognition it has gained over the past two years, WNF and CINC arranged a meeting in Santander to sign a Memorandum of Understanding between the two organisations and to launch a collaboration program between members of both organisations.
It was also an appropriate time to arrange a collaboration between organisations, as ENSA had been successful in winning major structural contracts on the Hinkley Point C project and were looking for partners to deliver these contracts.
Objective of the Trade Mission Santander:
A cross section of WNF members and Welsh Government officials atteneded a three-day trade mission in Santander. Over the three days, the WNF were able to present the diverse range of services and manufacturing capabilities of the current member list, to include the following members:
- Acorn Recruitment Recruitment UK and Europe
- Huntingdon Fusion Techniques Protection of Welding Processes
- C&P Engineering Instrumentation and Electrical
- Site Heat-Treatment Services Heat Prep Welding
- Wales Nuclear Forum All member companies
- Teddington Engineered Solutions Bellows Expansion Joints
- Roberts and Prowse Engineering Pipe and Plate Fabrication
- Welsh Government Business Development
- Welsh Government Inward Investment
Spanish Companies Representing CINC:
The above list of Spanish engineering companies were very keen to develop collaborative links with the WNF team. Following the initial meetings held Welsh Government and ongoing discussions over a period of three years and the original signing of a MOU with Welsh Government it was now time to further the collaboration process by the signing of a new MOU between Wales Nuclear Forum and Cantabria Industries Nuclear Cluster. This was completed in front of the Welsh Government and Spanish Government representatives by Maria E. Vega Antolin Director and Vice President of Business Development and Peter J. Cornish Director and Chair of Wales Nuclear Forum.
Ongoing progress with the development and strengthening of the WNF and CINC collaboration will be enhanced by an organised visit by CINC to the UK with an arranged visit to the Hinkley Point C project site in Bridgwater. The visit will involve all participating WNF members and the Welsh Government, and will be completed by the end of November 2019.
WNF members are already in communication with ENSA and other members of the CINC and exchanging dialogue regarding future opportunities, this has been an achievement and enhances our objective in setting up a productive and collaborative engagement with the CINC for many years to come.
Peter J. Cornish
Chair, Wales Nuclear Forum