Wednesday, 02 September 2015

Cumbrian firms in trade mission to Japan and South Korea

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Cumbrian companies are visiting Japan and South Korea on a trade mission, as Britain’s Energy Coast looks to help globalise the region’s expertise in the nuclear industry.

They fly out this weekend on a visit arranged by UKTI, British Energy Coast and the Nuclear Industry Association,. The six day tour is the latest of a series of visits and events aimed at increasing awareness of Britain’s nuclear capabilities to the Japanese market post Fukushima.

It is the first time a delegation of this kind has visited South Korea , where the objective is to learn more about the country’s plans for new build both at home and overseas, as well as decommissioning.

BEC is financially supporting the delegation, which includes 12 companies from West Cumbria, which will travel to South Korea to meet representatives from the Korea Atomic Energy Forum and businesses including Korea Electric Power Company and Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power.

The country is committed to increasing the proportion of nuclear energy generated from 32 per cent to 59 per cent by 2030 and is looking to grow its experience in decommissioning as well new build in countries such as United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Vietnam and South Africa.

The Japanese leg of the trip is the latest of a series of high level visits and events that have taken place in the last year to increase awareness of Britain’s UK nuclear capabilities to assist with the £10bn clean-up operation following the Fukushima incident.

Luke Dicicco, Head of Communications and Inward Investment at BEC, said: “We have placed a lot of importance on the need for West Cumbrian companies to compete for global business and not just what emanates from Sellafield, as important as that is.

“We have world-class businesses in this area with world-class skills and expertise in the nuclear industry, in particular decommissioning, which could be of huge value to the global marketplace and of course help create new jobs and opportunities right here in West Cumbria.”

The 12 companies taking part in the delegation are Tata Steel; Nuclear Engineering Services Ltd; NIS Ltd; James Fisher Nuclear; Nuclear Decontamination Services Ltd; Westlakes Engineering; Forth Engineering; TIS Cumbria; React Engineering; National Nuclear Laboratory, Shepley Engineers Limited and Resource Marketing.

They answered a call made by supply chain membership organisation Britain’s Energy Coast Business Cluster, which has led on arranging the trip.

Business Development Director at BECBC, Phil Jardine, said: “There appears to be a good fit with what West Cumbrian companies can provide in terms of products and services and what the Japanese companies involved in the clean-up post Fukushima require.

“We’ve been advised by UK Trade and Investment that Japanese companies will seek to use Japanese resources unless we have something exceptional to offer.

“Our companies may well have that, given our unique skills and experience, but if not then there is the potential for partnering and licensing.

“But we have to appreciate that this is our first step in building long-term relationships given the very different way Japanese companies like to do business and also the sensitivities around Fukushima and the terrible human cost of the Great Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami.”

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